After a stint co-directing the Ballet Theatre of the Virgin Islands in the early 1970s, returned home to form the Gary Geis School of Dance and in 1998 founded the Gary Geis Dance Company.
The Gary Geis Dance Company Ensemble of more than 30 dancers will include current and former students who will perform his signature repertory works in jazz, modern and tap.
Cindy Griffin, a longtime student and current tap instructor, is putting the tap pieces together, while Tiffany Lobertini is resetting the jazz and modern works.
While many of the dancers are current students, more than 15 have returned to be part of this special event according to Common.
Guests will include modern dance instructor Jordan Davis and Leighann Kowalsky of Erick Hawkins Dance Company, who are choreographing new pieces, and Kanako Shimisaki, a former student, will be perform a violin and piano duet with Josh Kline.
Former students now performing professionally serving as guest solists will include Claire Fisher, Bethany Logan, Emily Larger, Victoria Broshes and Kristin O’Neal.
“Gary’s gift of instilling individual uniqueness while relating to and communicating with a diverse group of humans through dance is what I aspire to create in my classroom every day,” said O’Neal, a rehearsal director for CORE Performance Company in Georgia.
Tickets are available online through Ticketmaster.com, at pac.clarkstate.edu or at the Clark State Performing Arts Center box office.
Common said this will be a time to reflect on Geis and look forward to the future.
“Dance was Gary’s life and he built a strong foundation and appreciation for dance in our community,” Common said. “We’re here to remind our friends, students, fans and families that Gary’s legacy of dance, his dance school and dance company, will continue. We hope everyone will come see this show and celebrate with us.”
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How to go
What: Gary Geis Tribute Concert
Where: Clark State Performing Arts Center, 300 S. Fountain Ave., Springfield
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 22
More info: 937-322-6229 or www.garygeisdance.org/