Celebrate contemporary African-American dance at Detroit Opera House
DETROIT – In observance of Black History Month, the Detroit Opera House presents three extraordinary contemporary ballet companies, in two performances each, spotlighting works by renowned black choreographers.
“A Celebration of Contemporary African-American Dance” will feature performances by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Philadelphia Dance Company and Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet.
The “Celebration” begins on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. with a four-part program danced by Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. The company will return to the grand stage of the Detroit Opera House Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m. for an encore performance. Founded by Jeraldyne Blunden in 1968, DCDC holds the world’s largest collection of classic works created by African-American choreographers. Their Detroit Opera House performances will feature works by Sir Warren Spears, Bebe Miller, Asadata Dafora and Ronald K. Brown and Donald McKayle.
The Philadelphia Dance Company will take the stage Thursday Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 18, at 8:00 p.m. with a unique program entitled “We Too Dance.” With dances choreographed by Eleo Pomare, David Brown, Ronald K. Brown and Christopher Huggins, “We Too Dance” focuses on African-American men in dance.
On Saturday, Feb. 19, at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 20, at 2:00 p.m., all eyes will be on Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet as they present an exciting two-part program featuring “Who Dressed You Like A Foreigner?” and “Before the Blues”. The latest addition to a long list of exceptional works by Mr. King, “Before the Blues” weaves rare, un-produced field recordings with live music and vivid imagery from actual photographs and film, to enliven audiences to the era of post-African, pre-spiritual sounds called “Pre-Blues.”
Tickets for “A Celebration of Contemporary African-American Dance” at the Detroit Opera House range from $23-$66 and are available at the Detroit Opera House ticket office, by phone at 313-237-SING or on the web at http://www.MichiganOpera.org.
Jazz for Kids presents ‘Let Freedom Ring’ at Wharton Center
EAST LANSING – Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the Jazz Studies Program at Michigan State University School of Music are pleased to present a new partnership series, Jazz Kats – Jazz for Kids. The series was created to provide educational programs designed for young patrons to enhance their appreciation and understanding of jazz music.
“Let Freedom Ring” will be performed on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 1:30 p.m. & 4 p.m. in the Pasant Theatre at Wharton Center in East Lansing.
The program features compositions by jazz artists who participated in the civil rights movement and shows how these works were tied to specific historic events. By telling the stories behind events such as Brown vs. the Board of Education and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speech “I Have A Dream”, listeners discover how music can be used to send cultural and political messages. The concert includes the music of artists such as Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, and Duke Ellington.
Tickets to “Let Freedom Ring” are $7.
For tickets or additional information, call 517-432-2000 or go online to www.jazzatwhartoncenter.com.
‘Rennie Harris PureMovement’ returns to Power Center
ANN ARBOR – On Friday, Feb. 11 and Saturday, Feb. 12 at 8 pm in the Power Center for the Performing Arts, the University Musical Society presents the hip-hop dance ensemble Rennie Harris Puremovement, led by world-renowned dancer and clinician Rennie Harris. Their program, “Facing Mekka,” explores new realms of possibility within the genre of hip-hop and, in the artist’s words, “presents an alternative and compassionate vision for this troubled world.”
“Facing Mekka” takes hip-hop out of the strictly secular as a genre, and explores the spiritual implications of its roots, finding hope in a cross-cultural exploration that draws on all the diverse influences that have gone into the evolution of hip-hop.
In 1992, Harris founded the ensemble Rennie Harris Puremovement, a hip-hop dance company dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of hip-hop culture through workshops, classes, hip-hop history lecture demonstrations, long-term residencies, mentoring programs, and public performances.
“Facing Mekka” is in many ways a departure from Harris’s previous work. Steering clear of the strongly masculine, essentially secular nature traditionally associated with hip-hop, Harris has instead chosen to explore the spiritual roots of many of the dance forms that have gradually evolved to become what we think of as hip-hop today.
Power Center for the Performing Arts is located at 121 Fletcher, Ann Arbor.
Tickets to the event are $18 – $40. For tickets or additional information, contact the UMS at 734-764-2538 or online at www.ums.org.
Everyone’s favorite tenor returns for ‘An Affair To Remember’
DETROIT – On the heels of its highly acclaimed “Too Hot To Handel” with Cook, Dixon & Young, Rackham Symphony Choir announces the return of tenor Rodrick Dixon for a second year as emcee for its annual fund raiser, “An Affair To Remember”.
The event will be held on Saturday, Feb. 12 at the MSU Management Center in Troy.
The event is an evening of dining, serenade and silent auction. Funds raised will go towards programming and educational activities for the 56 year-old group. Last year the event raised nearly $10,000.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with a cash bar and silent auction. Dinner and serenade follows at 7:30pm.
Tickets start at $50 for dinner and silent auction. Other ticket levels entitle one to additional benefits including seating with Mr. Dixon.
The MSU Management Center is located at 811 W. Square Lake Road in Troy.
For reservations, call 586-808-2211.