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Dance Company Takes Over The Pageant

Courtesy of The Big Muddy Dance Company

Ballet may be one of the last things you’d expect to see at a rock venue, but it will happen next weekend.

The Big Muddy Dance Company will perform at The Pageant on Jan. 30 — a first for both.

“We’re so excited about this because part of our mission and vision for the Big Muddy is to perform in unexpected venues and to make each performance an experience for the audience,” Erin Warner Prange, the company’s managing director, told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter. “For them to go into what is traditionally a rock concert venue and experience something completely different, and for us to sort of take that out of context for them, I think that’s something really special.”

But this isn’t “Swan Lake.” While there will be some ballet, it will include a variety of dance types, living up to the program’s title, “Wit, Grit and Grace.”

“We are presenting five pieces in the program that are all extremely different. So we have a little comedy in there, a little ballet, a little contemporary, a little jazz,” Prange said. “I think everyone will leave there feeling invigorated in some way.”

In addition to crossing a new venue off the list, there are some benefits to dancing at the Pageant. “The Pageant has a lovely stage,” said Brian Enos, Big Muddy’s new artistic director. “It’s huge. It’s going to be very luxurious for our dancers to perform on.”

Enos first learned of the 4-year-old Big Muddy Dance Company while working in Chicago.

“I was under the impression from a distance that it was a much more established company,” he said.

But working with a young company has its advantages, he said.

“I feel like I’ve taken on this position at a perfect time because the company is young and it’s still sort of finding its identity,” he said. “I can kind of take it in the direction I want to take it. I get to focus on building the company up from here, rather than trying to run a huge, established organization.”

Some of that building includes touring outside of St. Louis. The company will perform in Amarillo, Texas, in February. Enos said he hopes to continue building the company’s touring schedule.

“I would like us to be internationally recognized and touring the world,” he said. “That’s my dream.”

Related Event

The Big Muddy Dance Company's "Wit, Grit and Grace"

  • When: 8 p.m. Jan. 30, 2015
  • Where: The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis
  • More information

Drea's Dream Gala

  • When: 7 p.m. March 7, 2015
  • Where: Washington University's Edison Theatre, 6445 Forsyth Blvd., St. Louis
  • More information

“Cityscape” is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

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