By Walter Rutledge
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.
“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.