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Another hand at the Bruce Wood reins: associate choreographer Joshua Peugh

Posted 8:28am on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014

One of Bruce Wood's goals last summer was to find a new choreographer to bring into the creative stew that is the Bruce Wood Dance Project.

Introducing Joshua Peugh, a 28-year-old graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and founder of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance in Korea.

"I think he's the real deal," Wood says. "He's completely different from me, but we have the same view points on dance and art. I'm really glad I came across a choreographer that I could start to promote as well as local dancers."

And to think: Peugh and Wood might've crossed paths sooner.

"The funny thing for me was, before I had graduated school," Peugh said, "I had seen a lot of his work, and I would've loved to have worked for Bruce."

But because the company was folding the year he graduated from SMU, it didn't happen. "I just kind of realized I needed to move on," he said. Peugh moved to Korea to dance with Universal Ballet, and eventually started his own small, contemporary company in Seoul.

Last year, in preparation for SMU's 100-year anniversary, the school wanted to bring several alumni back to choreograph something for the festivities. Peugh was on the list, and Wood sat on the panel that reviewed Peugh's work.

Wood arranged a meeting and asked if Peugh would choreograph a piece for his company.

"How lucky I am to be that person," he said. "As far as I know, I'm the first he first one that he's ever let choreograph his dancers except for him. It's something that I can cherish for sure, because who gets that kind of an opportunity? With the kind of dancers he has in the company, to have free rein to work with these people is really a gift."

Peugh will debut his work -- Slump -- on June 21, as part of the Season 2 program.

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