This is a unique opportunity to witness five contemporary dance icons in an evening of solos. Representing three generations (1950s, 60s, 70s), these history-making women are masters of dance rooted in the African and African American culture and have inspired many with their strength, tenacity, grace, and determination.
A former dance partner of Alvin Ailey, actor and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade dances The Creation, which was choreographed for her by her husband, Geoffrey Holder in 1972. Dance Magazine calls it "a saucy illustration of the Biblical take on how our world came to be and could make a believer out of Darwin."
Senegal's Germaine Acogny, founder of the critically acclaimed all-male Compagnie Jant-Bi and considered the "mother of contemporary African dance," brings an untitled work co-choreographed with Pierre Doussaint.
Founder of the 1970s-80s Harlem-based Sounds in Motion Co. and a Broadway choreographer, Dianne McIntyre performs her If You Don't Know, which draws on the memory of three mentors who she respects and wishes we knew better.
In Bebe Miller's Rain, a patch of live grass sits center stage, a set and silent partner to the red velvet–clad dancer. Miller describes it as a "work built by struggle, ultimately redeemed." She has been making dances for more than 25 years and created more than 40 original works in the U.S. and abroad.
Inspired by the plight of the displaced residents of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar created Bring ‘Em Home. The founder of Urban Bush Women and a former student of Dianne McIntyre, she and her company have been active in rebuilding the cultural life of that city.
Performance Timing: Approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission.
FLY: Five First Ladies of Dance is a project of 651 ARTS.
Explore the Arts: On Nov. 2, join a free post-performance discussion with a moderator and special guests.
This tour of FLY: Five First Ladies of Dance is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
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