'3 Moons' ballet to premiere tomorrow Work's choreographer from Severna Park, began dancing at 18

March 19, 1998|By Judith Green | Judith Green,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Anton Wilson has always been known, personally and professionally, as Tony -- until a Caribbean dancer named Tony Wilson also became a choreographer.

To distinguish himself from the other one, Tony Wilson of Severna Park went back to Anton.

Wilson is on familiar ground these days, creating a new work for Ballet Theater of Annapolis, where he once danced. The piece, "3 Moons Unveiled," will have its premiere this weekend.

"I've always thought of myself as a dancer," says Wilson, 37, who did not start dance training until he was 18.

After performing in musicals in high school and going through the disco craze, Wilson realized he wanted to be a dancer. He commuted weekly to Slayton House in Columbia to study with Anne Waugh Allen, a noted teacher.

"The first day I had trouble finding the place and got there after class had started," he said. "She said: 'You're late.' " When Wilson apologized, she added: " 'About five years too late.' "

Allen made it clear that "even though I started late, I could do it if I was courageous and tenacious enough," he said.

Wilson took a class in pointe shoes to strengthen his feet. After he graduated from the North Carolina School for the Arts in 1983, he found the pointe work even more useful when he joined the Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo, a troupe of men who parody the grand Russian manner.

He traveled to Tokyo in 1985 with the Trocks and began teaching there in a Japanese ballet school. Since then, he has combined choreography, dancing and teaching for a living.

He began to choreograph in the Netherlands, where he danced for two seasons with Djazzex, a Dutch jazz dance company, and in Germany, where he lived and worked for four years in Oldenburg.

"3 Moons" is based on Native American astrology, in which each birth sign has a moon associated with it. "It's about how seasons and moons affect us," Wilson says.

He has used Gemini, the Green Corn Moon; Cancer, the Moon of the Big Sun; and Leo, the Moon of Ripe Berries. The music is by One Tongue, an underground world music band; and jazz diva Cassandra Wilson and Luis Conte, a Latino fusion jazz artist.

For 10 years, he has been a member of Jennifer Muller's company in New York, where he returns each week for a few days of rehearsal. These days he comes back to Maryland to teach at the Baltimore School for the Arts and to work with the BTA.

That allows him to spend time with his parents, Everett and Elsie Wilson. His mother is program administrator at Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church; his father is a deputy sheriff and caseworker at the county's Juvenile Court.

"I wouldn't be able to tolerate New York if I didn't have these breaks," he says with a smile.

Ballet Theater of Annapolis

Repertory: "The Rite of Spring" (Edward Stewart); "3 Moons Unveiled" (Anton Wilson); "Minkus Variations" (Russian pas de deux and ensembles)

When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Where: Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis

L Tickets: $18, $15 for seniors, $10 for students and children

Call: 410-263-2909

Pub Date: 3/19/98

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