Culture Connect Featured Event
The 15th annual DanceMasters Weekend Showcase Performance will feature dancers and choreography from three outstanding artists, ranging from classical ballet to modern and West African dance.
The first permanent black ballet company in America, Dance Theatre of Harlem was co-founded in 1969 by the New York City Ballet’s first African-American principal dancer Arthur Mitchell, and his colleague and acclaimed ballet instructor Karel Shook. The first American ballet company to perform in Russia, Dance Theatre of Harlem has toured to 40 countries on 6 continents. Since 2010, the company has been led by Artistic Director Virginia Johnson, a founding member of the company and former principal dancer. At DanceMasters Weekend, the company will perform “New Bach” (1999), a witty confection of urban post-modern neoclassicism choreographed by Robert Garland and set to music by Johann Sebastian Bach.
Born in Burkina Faso, choreographer and performer Souleymane Badolo is the 2014 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award recipient. His heritage is a driving force in his work, having founded his own company, Kongo Ba Téria, in 1993. Since moving to New York in 2009, in addition to his own work, he has performed work created for him by Reggie Wilson, and was featured in the New England premiere of Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Nora Chipaumire’s “visible” on the Breaking Ground Dance Series in the CFA Theater in October 2012. In 2013, Mr. Badolo was also featured in the CFA’s summer series as the Danspace/Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance Creative Residency Artist.
Founded in 1985 and based in Brooklyn, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company focuses on the integration of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word providing a unique view of human struggles, tragedies, and triumphs. The New York Times describes Mr. Brown’s works as “searingly relevant and shockingly beautiful.” Mr. Brown has set works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble, and Philadanco, among others, and was the choreographer of the award-winning Broadway revival of “Porgy and Bess.” Mr. Brown has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Bessie Award, and a Black Theater Alliance Award. The company will perform Mr. Brown’s “Come Ye” (2003), which is set to music by Nina Simone and Fela Kuti.