By Walter Rutledge
Philadanco- the Philadelphia Dance Company returns to New York City’s Joyce Theater, February 6th thru February 10th, 2024. The highly anticipated four-day five performance series will present the works of four emerging choreographers of merit, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Nijawwon Matthews, Ray Mercer, and Christopher Rudd. Evans, Matthews and Mercer have history with Philadanco as company members and in Mercer’s case choreographer-in-residence. While Rudd has gained recent notoriety for the two works set on American Ballet Theater.
The production exemplifies the Philadanco credo; “to develop and showcase the talents of the next generation”. This esthetic extends beyond the arts. At Philadanco, under the stewardship of founder Joan Myers Brown, young people learned self-respect through the discipline of dance, which produced self-reliant adults regardless of their endeavor.
A very youthful nonagenarian Brown has passed the touch to present Artistic Director Kim Y. Bears-Bailey, but this Grande-dame is no less committed to her brainchild. Brown’s vision has offered countless opportunities to Philadelphia’s underserved African American population for fifty-four years. This calling began during a sad period in Philly’s history when arts training and performance opportunities were segregated. In fact the largest public event that prominently featured black faces was the Mummer’s parade. (Y’all that’s a Philly inside joke. At one time the Mummers strutted down Broad Street playing banjos in black face make up)
On that note it is only fitting that former Philadanco company members and Danco family reach out to wish the present company good luck prior to their New York City season.
Wishing Us Well- Danco at the Joyce
You can see Philadelphia’s finest February 6th thru February 10th, 2024 at New York City’s Joyce Theater. For more information and tickets reservation visit https://www.joyce.org/performances/55//philadanco.