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“We’re a little young for a retrospective,” Christopher Morgan says about the eponymous dance company he founded in 2011. It’s also a little early to celebrate the company’s first five years. But who says you have to wait when things are going this well?
“I had a five-year plan with hopes that it would go a certain way,” Morgan says, “and it’s actually far exceeded what I could have hoped in terms of the amount of growth and the opportunities that we’ve had.”
Morgan moved to D.C. to work at CityDance in 2007, but started his company after CityDance folded its ensemble and made him its resident choreographer. Four and a half years later, the company includes a core of six dancers and is now in residence at Rockville’s well-regarded American Dance Institute. That’s where Morgan will present his 5th year anniversary program next weekend, a mixed-repertory show featuring 10 dancers and including important pieces from the company’s first few years — plus a decade-old solo work by Morgan.
It also includes a preview of a new work that Christopher K. Morgan & Artists will premiere next March at Dance Place. Pohaku, Hawaiian for stone, “is the first work that I’ve made that’s really kind of integrating those different sides of my identity,” says Morgan, who is half-Hawaiian and first learned to dance the hula — though he was born and raised in California, where as a teenager he first tried ballet and modern dance. “It uses traditional hula and chanting, some storytelling and modern dance to reflect on my mixed identity and also tell a little bit about the history of the Hawaiian people.”
Aside from the Pohaku preview, Morgan singles out another short piece as a particular highlight. Inconstancy, about the wandering — or at least wondering — nature of human beings in relationships, is one of those that, no matter how many times he sees it, “still makes me laugh and still makes me weep.” By the time his company actually turns five next year, Morgan expects it to be a fully fledged nonprofit and one with increasing national and international exposure.
On a personal front, Morgan is considering becoming a Washington-area homeowner with his husband Kyle Lang, who he met 10 years ago when both were dancers in New York.
“We never really thought we’d settle here for as long as we have,” Morgan marvels, “and now we feel like we’re really growing roots in this community.”
Christopher K. Morgan & Artists’s 5th Anniversary Concert is Friday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., at the American Dance Institute, 1501 East Jefferson St., Rockville. Tickets are $30. Call 301-984-3003 or visit christopherkmorgan.com.
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