Black Dance Festival keeps tradition alive and vital
Greer Reed wasn't sure when she launched the Black Dance Festival at the August Wilson Center in 2011 whether she wanted it to be an annual celebration. But the hard work of presenting a festival over several days with groups traveling to Pittsburgh to take part was fully vindicated with success. Her choice was clear.
“Last year was a huge endeavor. I was involved in lots of black dance festivals when I was dancing and learned a lot from them about how to keep black dance alive and the tradition going,” Reed says.
The August Wilson Center will present Black Dance Festival II, featuring seven dance companies performing at five events, on Friday through Sunday.
Friday night's program, which will be repeated Saturday night, will present two pieces. The August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble will perform “Breath” by Terence Greene, the story of a group struggle through life, in which breath is the rejuvenating force after hardship.
After intermission, Camille A. Brown & Dancers will revive “Mr. Tol E. Rance,” which was introduced last season at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in East Liberty. Brown's piece takes inspiration from Langston Hughes' comment, “Humor is what you wish in your secret heart were not funny, but is, and you must laugh. Humor is your own unconscious therapy.”
Saturday afternoon's program is devoted to emerging companies and artists, starting with the Hill Dance Academy Theater.
“Ayisha Morgan-Lee does wonderful things with the kids in her school,” Reed says. “I thought it would be really awesome for those kids to be performing onstage at the August Wilson Center.”
The young dancers will perform “Footprints,” “Order My Steps” and “He Reigns.”
“I remember being a young dancer and getting those opportunities, standing on the stage of the Kennedy Center in awe of all the people who've danced there. I think a lot of times we don't realize the effect that has on young artists,” Reed says.
The other Saturday afternoon attractions are Greene's “Pulse,” performed by Cleveland's Urban Dance Collective; “Moments,” performed by Dance4Nia Repertory Ensemble, and “Brother,” performed by Rennie Harris RHAW.
Sunday's program is identical for matinee and evening performances. It will open with “Suite Otis” (Redding if you didn't guess) performed by Philadanco!, from Philadelphia. After intermission, the same company will dance “Wake Up” by Rennie Harris.
The August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble also will perform on both halves of Sunday's programs, offering Antonio Brown's “Unwritten” and excerpts from “New Second Line” by Brown.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL parity makes playoff chase a multi-team muddle
- Clues to Chief Justice John Roberts’ thinking on new ObamaCare case
- LaBar: Timing perfect for Sting’s debut at WWE’s Survivor Series
- Starkey: No explaining Steelers, AFC North
- Pirates trade Davis to A’s for international signing bonus money
- Charity wants donors to knit and purl for animal shelters
- Small retailers at intersection of social networks, foot traffic
- For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth
- Iraqi family, torn apart for opposing Saddam, reunites in Pittsburgh
- Time capsule salutes 250 years for Fort Pitt Block House
- Stores creating Thanksgiving dine-and-dash dilemma