HADIYA World Premiere and More Set for Deeply Rooted Dance Theater's GENERATIONS Project Tonight
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT), which creates world-class dance inspired by the African Diaspora in a community dedicated to nurturing artists, supporting human relationships and sharing common values through engaging in dance, kicks off Generations, a five-year multigenerational repertory project premiering tonight, November 1 at 8 p.m. at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park in Chicago.
Serving as Honorary Chair of the Generations Host Committee is Tony Award-winning and Emmy Award-nominated actress Phylicia Rashad. Said DRDT Artistic Director/Co-Founder Kevin Iega Jeff: "In 1979, I joined the original cast of Broadway's The Wiz, where I had the sheer pleasure of working in the chorus with Phylicia Rashad. She was an inspired example of talent, humility, professionalism, fun and grace, and in addition, she loves and appreciates the beauty and power of good dancing. Because of these qualities, we invited her to serve as Honorary Chair of our first Generations season and were thrilled when she accepted."
Generations underscores the company's impact on dance in Chicago and abroad and highlights the work of artists who have been part of the company's continuum. These artists include emerging choreographers mentored by experienced artistic leaders in the process of discovering their voices; established choreographers who have gained recognition and national and international acclaim; and legendary choreographers who have created a body of groundbreaking work and, as master teachers and choreographers, have trained and inspired others as well.
The November 1 program features the world premiere of Hadiya by emerging choreographer Nicole Clarke-Springer, with music by Nasser Alqatami, Oliver Nelson and Marcelo Zarvos. "On January 29, 2013, 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot in the back and killed while standing with friends inside Harsh Park in Chicago," said Clarke-Springer. "My initial reaction was, 'Where was her covering? Where was the disconnect? Hadiya explores the connect, disconnect and reconnection of the human spirit to spiritual forces." Hadiya Project Workshops for youth take place during the week leading up to the Harris performance, giving participants opportunities to reflect upon and express their reactions to street violence and its impact on themselves, underserved youth and broader American communities.
On the heels of its successful residency and performances as the first U.S. company in the international festival JOMBA! in Durban, South Africa, DRDT will perform work those audiences experienced, billed collectively as "The Dance We Dance Suite" with choreography by established choreographers DRDT Artistic Director/Co-Founder Kevin Iega Jeff and Associate Artistic Director/Co-Founder Gary Abbott. The suite features company repertoire reflecting the soul's journey through human experience, introspection, self-discovery and acts of free will: