Press Release: PHILADANCO, innovations & traditions in African American dance, March 22 & 23, 2013
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CINCINNATI, OHIO — Contemporary Dance Theater, Cincinnati presenter of modern and contemporary dance, continues its 40th Anniversary Season with its March presentation of PHILADANCO, a renowned dance troupe from Philadelphia.
Created in 1970 out of a need to provide opportunities for Black dancers, who were then systematically denied entrance in many local dance schools, PHILADANCO has since grown into a professional dance company that is recognized across the nation and around the world for its artistic integrity, superbly trained dancers and electrifying performances. Established on principles of providing opportunity, inclusion and hope, PHILADANCO bridges cultural divides and consistently performs for sold-out audiences representing an amalgamation of people from diverse ethnicities and communities.
PHILADANCO is celebrated for its innovation, creativity and preservation of predominantly African-American traditions in dance. The company performs Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23, 2013 at the Aronoff Center for the Arts Jarson-Kaplan Theater.
Following Friday evening’s performance, Contemporary Dance Theater will host a free meet-the-artists and Q&A reception. At Contemporary Dance Theater’s studio in College Hill, intermediate and advanced dancers are invited to take class from PHILADANCO! on Saturday, March 23, 2013.
The program will include works by well-known and hard-hitting choreographers Ronald K. Brown (of Evidence), Matthew Rushing (of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), and the hip hop choreographer Rennie Harris (of Rennie Harris Puremovement), as well as George Faison (who choreographed The Wiz and is well-known for his film and commercial work, as well).
“Suite Otis” by George Faison is considered an American Masterpiece. It was inspired by the genius of the late Otis Redding anddedicated to the memory of the late Thelma Hill, Mr. Faison’s teacher, mentor, and friend. First premiered in 1971, “Suite Otis” is a wonderful playful interaction between the men and women and a showcase of the performers.
“Gatekeepers” by Ronald K. Brown, a sought-after choreographer, symbolizes the dancers as “soldiers walking toward heaven, searching for the wounded and looking-out to make a safe haven for others to follow.” “Gate Keepers” is a story of homage, celebration, and an acknowledgment of conscious continuity, interconnectedness, history, tradition, and perseverance.
In “Moan,” by the famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performer and Rehearsal Director, Matthew Rushing, the musical genius of Nina Simone is honored. It illustrates the prolonged lament heard in and through the passion and truth of Ms. Simone’s timeless vocal expressions.
And, Rennie Harris’ new work, “Wake Up” addresses its own genre. An international phenomenon at almost 50 years old, Hip Hop has always been a struggle for identity. Hip Hop and Hip Hop Dance were created through communities, without formula or technique, out of the frustration of disenfranchised African American and Latino youth. Youth today continue to find their individual voice through hip hop almost two generations later while the media continues to attempt to define it. “Wake Up” shows—through the lens of dance—that communities, people, relationships, and Hip Hop define themselves.
Tickets are available now ($22-32), with money-saving subscriptions and flex-packs to the Contemporary Dance Theater’s season, via Cincinnati Arts Association at (513) 621-ARTS (2787), online at cincinnatiarts.org, or in person (which saves on fees!) at 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
More information about Contemporary Dance Theater’s 40th Season and PHILADANCO at cdt-dance.org.
This press release and others are available online at cdt-dance.org/press.
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