A journey to the center of the Earth would find a roiling molten core with heat rivaling that of the sun. When Roni Koresh, choreographer and artistic director of Philadelphia-based Koresh Dance Company, read about this “inner sun,” he was astounded. That inspired Koresh to choreograph his latest performance, appropriately called “Inner Sun,” which comes to the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 16 as part of the Take a Leap Baltimore County Dance Celebration.
The inner sun, Koresh said, “can be compared to our inner spirits in the human body.” “Inner Sun” is set to celebratory Middle Eastern music. The bright colors used in the performance represent the reds and yellows of Israel.
A Yemenite Jew born and raised in Israel, Koresh said that even though he’s been in the United States for 36 years, he’s still an Israeli at his core. “It’s wonderful to be a little ambassador,” Koresh said.
He wants to portray more than just the wonder of his heritage and of Middle Eastern culture in the dance performance.
“My intent is to show people that even though the journey is difficult, it’s all worth going through,” he said. “Life is beautiful.”
Now in its sixth year, Take a Leap weaves together professional and aspiring dancers, community members and educators to teach and inspire.
“I personally love this program because we get out into the community so broadly,” said Alyson Bonavoglia, artistic director for the Gordon Center. The venue not only hosts a number of the performances in their space, but also engages with students across Baltimore County through master classes in their schools and a demonstration, both led by Koresh Dance Company dancers.
Koresh dancer Sarah Shaulis looks forward to teaching students how to move naturally and also how to put their joy into dancing. “There’s a gap between what a step is and what dancing is,” said Shaulis.
Beginning in October, a Koresh dancer visited Towson pre-professional dance students and taught them a piece choreographed by Koresh himself. The students will open for the Koresh Dance Company at the Gordon Center.
Take a Leap’s first featured performance is on Sunday with a performance of “Snow White” by the Ballet Theatre of Maryland.
“They really know how to bring stories to life,” Bonavoglia said of the ballet company, which is celebrating its 40th year.
Feb. 6 brings the Baltimore Dance Invitational, which showcases eclectic dance performances. “It’s fun because you never really know what you’re going to see,” Bonavoglia said.
Co-presented by The Collective dance company, the invitational includes local and regional dancers, as well as a piece performed by nonprofessional community dancers.
Koresh looks forward to the festivities.
“There is a need to share, there is a need to have a dialogue and to communicate,” he said. “And to have fun.”
For more information, visit jcc.org/gordon-center/dance.
Victoria Brown is a Reisterstown-based freelance writer.