On the Rise: Alexandra Karigan Farrior

With her ability to make people laugh and cry, often at the same time, Alexandra Karigan Farrior takes dance theater to a new level. As muse and most frequent partner of Joshua L. Peugh, artistic director of up-and-coming Dallas troupe Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, she navigates his world of whimsy and internal turmoil with a confident finesse. Though she only joined the company in 2014, she fully inhabits Peugh’s offbeat characters, while managing to make his bizarre partnering look easy.

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Farrior is one half of Dark Circles’ most dynamic duo. Here, in Peugh’s Slump. Photo by Chadi El-Khoury, courtesy Farrior.

Company: Dark Circles Contemporary Dance

Age: 30

Hometown: Dallas, Texas (Born in Toronto, Ontario)

Training: Chamberlain School of Ballet, Texas Ballet Theater School, BFA in dance performance from Southern Methodist University

Breakout career moment: Right out of college, Farrior landed a job with Amy Marshall Dance Company in New York City. It was a huge validation for her. In a strange coincidence, her landlord knew Marshall. “I cold-called her and she invited me to an intensive,” Farrior says. “We clicked immediately.” With Marshall, she performed at Jacob’s Pillow and toured Europe and Asia.

Dallas/New York/Dallas: Farrior’s husband transferred to a Texas law school in 2012 so she could enroll in Texas Christian University’s MFA program in classical and contemporary dance. In Dallas, she reunited with fellow SMU alum Peugh at Bruce Wood Dance Project. He then asked her to join his new company, Dark Circles, where they are well on their way to becoming Dallas’ most prominent partnership.

What she’s working on: Onstage, Farrior continues to plumb the tricky nuances in Peugh’s work. “Joshua encourages me to pursue precision and virtuosity, but also keep my curiosity alive,” she says.

What Peugh is saying: “In performance, Alex is so absorbed in the work. She has great instincts and sensitivity; she reacts to what’s happening around her onstage and also what’s happening beyond the proscenium.”

On the horizon: Because Peugh is traveling more often to create for other companies, Farrior has taken a leadership role at Dark Circles, teaching company class and running rehearsals. She will be featured in Peugh’s The Rite of Spring, premiering in March, and in Italian choreographer Fabio Liberti’s new work for the company in April.