By Walter Rutledge
Dance Theatre of Harlem will begin their New York season April 23 at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center. Choreographers Tanya Wideman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis have created past-carry-forward a work that considers the legacy of the Great Northern Migration of African Americans. The migration from the agrarian South to the industrial North in the early part of the twentieth-century forced many young African Americans into difficult situations. The Harlem Renaissance, the African American presence in a segregated military, working in the segregated service industry as Pullman railroad porters and as entertainers to white American audiences are also considered in the work.
In 2012 I had an opportunity to talk to the choreographers as they began their creative exploration. The choreographic “sketches” were shown to an audience over a period of four weeks as part of the Harlen Dance 2.0 Series. During this period the couple worked with an skeleton crew of four dancers.
The finished work past-carry-forward will make its New York debut on April 23 at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center. For tickets and a complete schedule visit dancetheatreofharlem.org/company/ny-season or talc.org.