6/10/16 O&A NYC DANCE: Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center Announce 2016 Artist Roster

Shall We Dance

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The Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center (THPAC) announced the roster of artists they will present for their 40th Anniversary season June 19 through 22 and June 28 at the Actors Fund Center, 160 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn based THPAC has presented companies and choreographers of color for 40 consecutive years making it the oldest continuous presenting organization in the country. The list of artists reaches back to the past with established artists while remaining true to its credo offering performance opportunity to the new and emerging.

“When you put it in prospective back in 1976 there were very few presenters programming artists of color,” states THPAC Executive Chairman Alex Smith Jr. “Dance Theatre of Harlem had made their premiere only five years earlier in 1971, The Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble (Ailey II) was two years old, and the George Faison Universal Dance Experience was one of the hottest emerging companies in town. We presented the controversial Eleo Pomare and female powerhouse Dianne McIntyre when mainstream presenters were looking elsewhere. We have planned an exciting season for 2016, look for some surprise appearances from our dance family.”

Over the last forty years THPAC has made it a mission to seek out the new and cutting edge. The organization has helped introduce many of today dance notables including Complexions, Ronald K. Brown Evidence, Kyle Abraham, Camille A. Brown and Sidra Bell. This year promises to be more than a retrospective; it remains a referendum on dance programming for artists of color.

 The 2016 40th Anniversary Season:

Sunday June 19
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Darrel Grand Moultrie                                                                                                                                                                               George Faison
Germaul Barnes
Gierre Godley
Johnnie Mercer
Philadanco
Rodger C. Jeffery
Tiffany Rea-Fisher

Monday June 20
Alpha Omega
Andre’ Zachery
Bloodline Dance Theater
Creative Outlet
DaVon Doane
Harambee
Judah International Dance Theatre
Patricia Carby
Rod Rodgers Dance Company
Sidra Bell

Tuesday June 21
AREA
Charles Moore Dance Theater
Earl Mosley
Francesca Harper
Nehemiah Spencer
Nijawwon Matthews
Special Ops
Takeshi Ohashi
William Isaac

Wednesday June 22
Abdiel Jacobsen
Bones The Machine
HSA Dance Ensemble
Jamal Story
Jean Emile
Orlando Hunter
Ronald K. Alexander
Walter Rutledge

Tuesday June 28
Marshall Swiney with Beauty For Ashes Contemporary School of Dance

Tickets are on sale for the 2016 Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center 40th Anniversary season. The tickets are $20/$15 (students and seniors) due to the exciting roster and limited seating advanced ticket sales is advised. Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.thelmahill.com. or in the lobby 30 minutes prior to the performance.

 

5/12/15 O&A Dance: Jamel Gaines – Unsung Hero

By Walter Rutledge

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When you check the resumes of performing artists, so many did not begin their training in large renowned institutions. They usually begin at a smaller local school in their hometown or neighborhood. In these nurturing environments teachers taught more than dance.

Often these unsung heroes wore many pairs of dance shoes. They were chauffeurs, loan officers, guidance counselors, math tutors, disciplinarians, landlords and surrogate parents. They provided free classes, that they called scholarship, without the luxury of corporate sponsorships to offset the expense. But for the most part they provided a safe haven, and a solid foundation; not just in dance but in life.  

Whether it was a converted storefront, a church basement, school gymnasium, or after school program, you couldn’t wait to get there because even after a hundred failed attempts eventually you knew you would the words “Yes that’s it” usually followed “Now do it again”. It was that teacher, that hero, who first saw that spark in your eyes, and helped you turn it into the raging fire in your soul. Every dancer has an Aunt Joan, a Madame Cugjet or Nikita Talin whose dedication, conviction and love helped mold their artistry. And even now their voices and wisdom still resounds from deep within. Jamel Gaines is one of these heroes.

Jamel Gaines and Members of Creative Outlet

For twenty years Gaines has given his time, talent and personal resources to develop young people into performing artists and contributing members of society. His tireless energy and ability to show young people how “To be the best you can be” has not diminished. On any given Saturday Gaines conducts his school at Junior High School 113, 300 Adelphi Street in Brooklyn.

The school is a model of the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child”. Parents volunteers escort children to and from classes. They also operate a lunch concession where children and parent can purchase a hot meal with leaving to building. School alumni teach classes, and the company, Jamel Gaines’ Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn, consists of budding talent developed at the school and returning former students who are either between professional gigs or on hiatus.

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On May 15 Jamel Gaines’ Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn will celebrate the 20th anniversary with a three-day season at Kumble Theater at LIU Brooklyn, One University Plaza, Brooklyn. The performance May 15, 16 and 17 will showcase works from the company’s repertoire including the world premiere of Bitter Sweet, set to the music of Roberta Flack, commissioned by 651 ARTS. For more information and tickets call or visit the Kumble box office at (718) 488 – 1624 or online at creativeoutlet.org.