Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, one of the Midwest’s premier contemporary dance companies, celebrates its twentieth professional season this year. Artistic director Laurie Eisenhower founded the company in the summer of 1991 in metropolitan Detroit. Since its inception, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble has been dedicated to the performance of a diverse range of contemporary dance works. Along with Ms. Eisenhower’s highly acclaimed choreography, EDE showcases the works of talented young artists along with choreographers with established reputations. The company has boasted works by internationally known choreographers such as David Parsons, Stephen Koester, Michael Foley, Kiesha Lalama-White, Mark Dendy, Joel Hall, Eddy Ocampo, Lila York, Colin Connor and Billy Siegenfeld, among others. With support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the company has also collaborated with Michigan Opera Theatre, the Warren Symphony, the Immigrant Suns, the Rackham Symphony Choir in Carmina Burana and the Motor City Lyric Opera and the Toledo Opera in Amahl and the Night Visitors. This year, EDE will honor Daniel Gwirtzman, winner of EDE’s second Choreography Competition.
Eisenhower Dance Ensemble has produced several full-evening length touring productions. These include Motown in Motion, a visual salute to the tunes that made Motown records famous, Laugh Tracks, an evening of comedy in dance, Igor Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale with Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings as part of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and Dances from the Heart of Rock and Roll, a heartfelt tribute set to folk and rock music.
Considered by many critics to be one of the finest contemporary dance companies in the nation, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble has received overwhelming critical acclaim along with enthusiastic audience support: “stunning” (Gloria Shay, Holland Sentinel), “intelligently crafted repertoire” (Susan Isaacs-Nisbett, Dance Magazine), “dance that touches the soul” (Susan Hall-Balduf, Detroit Free Press), “an eye-popping production” (David Lyman, Detroit Free Press), “a hearty, no-nonsense way of moving (Jack Anderson, The New York Times), and “a finely interwoven company (California, Beverly Hills Outlook). As members of Eisenhower Dance, company members have performed at theatres throughout the state of Michigan and on tours across the United States as well as St. Petersburg, Russia. The company has received numerous grants and awards for its work and, in 2003, Ms. Eisenhower received the prestigious Artserve Michigan Governor’s Award for Arts and Culture – Michigan Artist.
In September of 1995, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble opened the doors to the EDE Center for Dance in Rochester, Michigan, and in January of 2008, the Center was relocated to a beautiful new studio on South Street in Rochester. A second EDE Center opened in Birmingham in September 2008. The Centers serve as bases for the company’s community outreach and education programs.