David Roussève / REALITY
photo: Steve Gunther
Founded in 1988, David Roussève/REALITY creates evening-length expressionistic dance/theater works that combine the accessibility, grit and passion of African American traditional and pop cultures with the challenging compositional structures of avant-garde dance and theater to explore socially-charged, immensely relevant, and often spiritual themes. Steeped in the power of storytelling and moving freely between wild humor and harsh reality, the work of REALITY braids words, movement, and elaborate visual imagery into a compositional framework that is ‘reinvented’ to meet the demands of each piece.
Roussève writes: “My work for REALITY addresses a myriad of social issues from AIDS, to racism, to sexism, to homophobia, to transnationalism but does so within an avant-garde context. And as a gay citizen of color who grew up at the apex of the civil rights movement, above all else my work hopes to create an empathetic conversation that transcends the boundaries of difference to communicate on the level of the heart.”
For the Los Angeles performances of the evening length Saudade REALITY received the LA Horton Award for “Best Company Performance of 2009”. The Los Angeles Times called the company’s performances of the evening-length Stardust “One of the Best Dance Events of 2014.”
REALITY has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, and South America in venues including among many others, three engagements at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, Lincoln Center, Jacob’s Pillow, Cal Performances’ Zellerbach Hall, UCLA Live’s Royce Hall, The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Peak Performances, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the Dance Center at Columbia College, On the Boards, Diverseworks, Yerba Buena Center, ASU’s Gammage Hall, Walker Art Center, LA Mama, PS 122, the Kitchen, Redcat, Highways, Houston’s Wortham Center, the Internationales Sommer Theater Festival in Hamburg, London’s South Bank Center and Dance Umbrella, Birmingham Repertory; Manchester’s Green Room, Paris’ American Center; Lyon’s Biennale de la Danse; and in Brazil in Rio, Sao Paolo, and Bahia.Building an informed and involved public audience for contemporary performance is central to REALITY and the company has an extraordinary breadth and depth of experience in planning and conducting educational and engagement activities with communities including women, at-risk youth, African American, and people with HIV/AIDS.