6/16/18 O&A NYC DANCE/REVIEW: Philadanco at the Joyce

By Walter Rutledge

Philadanco (Philadelphia Dance Company) opened their New York City season on June 12 at the Joyce Theater. The eleven- member ensemble performed four works by choreographers Thang Dao, Christopher L. Huggins, and two former Philadanco Company members Dawn Marie Bazemore and Tommie-Waheed Evans. The well curated program used social injustice as the evening’s theme. Continue reading

6/7/18 O&A NYC DANCE: Philadanco Returns to the Joyce

Philadanco returns to New York City for seven performances, June 12 through 17 at the Joyce Theater. The company will present four works by choreographers of color, including three New York premieres. This concert series marks the company’s first solo presentation at the Joyce Theater since 2012.  Continue reading

12/5/17 O&A NYC DANCE: A Conversation With Michael Jackson Jr.

By Walter Rutledge

Michael Jackson, Jr. has spent his career working in the Black dance genre. The gifted dancer, choreographer, teacher, and this season’s Ailey “poster God” began his dance training at age 14 at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. under the direction of Charles Augins. His irrepressible curiosity, athletic physique and pliant musculature help Jackson Jr. quickly excel. Continue reading

2/18/17 O&A NYC DANCE: A Conversation with Philadanco Founder Joan Myers Brown and Author Brenda Dixon Gottschild (REPOST)

By Walter Rutledge

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In The Art of War author Sun Tzu reveals, “…When people are skillfully led into battle, the momentum is like that of round rocks rolling down a high mountain – this is force.” This statement also applies to Philadelphia’s unstoppable force- Joan Myers Brown. Joan Myers Brown and The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina, a Biohistory of American Performance by Brenda Dixon Gottschild chronicles the evolution of African American dance and culture in Philadelphia. Continue reading

6/27/16 O&A NYC DANCE: Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center’s Final Performance Tuesday June 28

By Walter Rutledge

"Bewildered", Adryan Moorefield, Courtney Robinson, Janine Beckles, PHILADANCO, Rosita Adamo, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Victor Lewis Jr.

The 40th Anniversary season of the Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center will conclude on Tuesday June 28 with a special by Philadanco and Marshall Swiney. Continue reading

4/16/15 O&A Dance: PHILADANCO Launches 45th Anniversary Celebration with Having Our Say…The Voices of Women Choreographers

By Walter Rutledge
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Fresh off the heels of the acclaimed winter European tour of the James Brown Project Get on the Good Foot, Philadanco launches their 45th Anniversary Celebration with Having Our Say… The Voices of Women Choreographers April 17- 19 at Philadelphia’s Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center located at Broad & Spruce Streets. The program honors four generations of female choreographers, with four works by four female choreographers. The works presented include world premiere ballets by Philadanco alumna Dawn Marie Bazemore master choreographer Dianne McIntyre and audience favorites, My Science by Bebe Miller, and Jawola Willa Jo Zollar’s Hands Singing Song.

Philadanco- Joan Myers Brown and “Having Our Say… “

The production’s title is derived from the 1993 book, of the same title, written by the Sarah Louise “Sadie” Delaney and Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delaney affectionately called The Delaney Sisters. Their eloquent story of living with dignity through the racism and sexism of the Jim Crow Era and The Great Depression catapulted the 90 year-old African-American women to literary and social notoriety. For the Philadanco production the title really functions as a metaphor for the struggle of minority female artists.

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“Philadanco’s program similarly shares the stories by four African-American women, who despite the odds were able to make strides through dance, with opportunities for these choreographers to showcase their works on stage” explains Philadanco Founder and Artistic Director Joan Myers Brown. Brown is no stranger to struggle of female artist of color. The recipient of the  2012 National Medal of the Arts award, presented by President Obama, will be honored with an Honorary Doctor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania at the upcoming 2015 29th Commencement ceremony on May 18, 2015.

12/26/14 O&A Shall We Dance Friday: Alvin Ailey- Cry

Shall We Dance

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In 1971, Alvin Ailey created Cry, one of his signature dance works, as a birthday present for his mother Lula Elizabeth Ailey. Ailey dedicated the ballet to “all black women everywhere — especially our mothers.” The three-part ballet, set to popular and gospel music by Alice Coltrane, Laura Nyro and Chuck Griffin, depicts a woman’s journey through the agonies of slavery to an ecstatic state of grace. Cry premiered at New York City Center on May 4, 1971. Continue reading

10/14/14 O&A NYC: A Conversation with Philadanco Founder Joan Myers Brown and Author Brenda Dixon Gottschild (Repost)

By Walter Rutledge

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In The Art of War author Sun Tzu reveals, “…When people are skillfully led into battle, the momentum is like that of round rocks rolling down a high mountain – this is force.” This statement also applies to Philadelphia’s unstoppable force- Joan Myers Brown. Joan Myers Brown and The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina, a Biohistory of American Performance by Brenda Dixon Gottschild chronicles the evolution of African-American dance and culture in Philadelphia.

Continue reading

O & A NYC: A Conversation with Philadanco Founder Joan Myers Brown and Author Brenda Dixon Gottschild

By Walter Rutledge

9780230114098_custom-a77cc3965681e5f5e10fca0923cb49c6f4224da2-s6-c30

In The Art of War author Sun Tzu reveals, “…When people are skillfully led into battle, the momentum is like that of round rocks rolling down a high mountain – this is force.” This statement also applies to Philadelphia’s unstoppable force- Joan Myers Brown. Joan Myers Brown and The Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina, a Biohistory of American Performance by Brenda Dixon Gottschild chronicles the evolution of African American dance and culture in Philadelphia. Continue reading