TROY dancers benefit from guest choreographers

Posted: Friday, 03 February 2012

TROY – A renowned choreographer, dancer and director will work with Troy University students Saturday, Feb. 4 in the creation of a hip-hop production for a spring concert.

CiCi Kelley, an Atlanta native who studied at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Penn., will work with the students on the Troy Campus in the Elm Street gym. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. and auditions begin at 1 p.m. Rehearsals will be the rest of Saturday and on Sunday, said Deborah Hicks, a coordinator for TROY Dance Repertoire Ensemble.

Kelley began her professional career in high school and, by age 21, had choreographed dances for New York City's "Showtime at the Apollo" and "Good Morning Philadelphia." Within a year of returning to Atlanta following her studies, she began working with prominent hip-hop artists. Her choreography has been seen on the WB's "Pepsi Smash" in Los Angeles, and "106 and Park" with the Atlanta-based "Ying Yang Twins." She has also performed with "Lil Jon & the Eastside Boys," "Petey Pablo," and the "Ying Yang Twins" on the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.

She has toured with "LL Cool J" and a "Tribe Called Quest." Her choreography also includes music video productions with "Music Soul Child" and "Usher," and the "Bad Girl" video on the "Truth" tour as well as Tyler Perry's "House of Payne" commercials. She also appeared in Beyonce's "Get Me Bodied" video and on MTV's "MADE," as she makes an ordinary girl into a fierce hip-hop dancer.

"CiCi Kelley has an exceptional instinct for creating choreography," Hicks said. "Her works are a bridge between past and future because her genius and sensitivity ensure that all forms of dance remain very alive at all times."

TDRE's spring concert is planned for April 13 and 14 on the Troy Campus.

Kelley isn't the only guest choreographer to work with the group this year. Last week, Nicki Loud, born and raised in Seattle, Wash. and assistant director of Seattle's Trilogy Dance Company, served in that role for TDRE dancers, setting a piece for the spring performance as well.

Loud travelled the country with dance conventions NYCDA, Co. Dance and Tremaine, assisting some of the country's leading choreographers. She assisted Tyce Diorio with his choreography on "So You Think You Can Dance" seasons 2 and 8, and with Mark Meismer on his choreography for "Dancing with the Stars" guest artist Martina McBride. In 2007, her choreography debuted at the Joyce Theater in New York City in the rock-and-roll show, "REVOLUTION." Her work has received numerous national awards and she teaches master classes across the United States.