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Clark Center Celebrates 60th Anniversary With 4 Days Of Programming

Clark Center Celebrates 60th Anniversary With 4 Days Of Programming

Clark Center NYC continues its series of events celebrating the 60th anniversary of the initial founding of the Clark Center for the Performing Arts. For 30 years Clark Center trained dancers, encouraged emerging companies, provided opportunities for dancers of color and identified and developed new choreographic talent under the inspired leadership of Louise Roberts and Kathy Grant. Sadly, the center became the victim of gentrification and was forced to officially close its doors in 1989. Clark Center NYC, now a 501c3 nonprofit, was created in 2013 by a handful of dancers to preserve the history and legacy of their beloved Center. Clark Center NYC presents the following anniversary events.

The First Ailey Dancers: Ella Thompson, Nat Horne & Dorene Richardson - In Conversation

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

6:00 pm

El Barrio ArtSpace

215 E 99th St, New York, NY 10029

On Sunday, March 30th, 1958 Alvin Ailey gave his first NYC concert at the 92nd St. Y where he debuted one of his signature pieces, 'Blues Suite'. Many of the best dancers in the city performed that day. Don't miss the opportunity to hear three of these amazing artists - Ella Thompson Moore, Nat Horne and Dorene Richardson - share memories of this auspicious (incredible) performance. Moderated by Clark Center NYC Executive Director Jill Williams.

West African Dance with Nafisa Sharriff

Thursday, August 15, 2019

7:00 pm

Marcus Garvey Park

18 Mt. Morris Park West, Manhattan, NY 10027

West African Dance with Nafisa Sharriff

Friday, August 16, 2019

6:00 pm

El Barrio's Artspace

215 E 99th St, New York, NY 10029

Nafisa Sharriff - Reverend Nafisa Sharriff is a master teacher and choreographer of traditional West African folklore from the Old Malian Empire. She met Baba Chuck Davis when she was 17 years old and went on to become a principal dancer in his company for 10 years. Throughout her illustrious 40-year career, Reverend Nafisa has performed with Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Spike Lee, TC Carson, C&C Music Factory, and Kairaba West African Dance Company. Her television credits include performances on The Richard Pryor Show, Dance Black America, and Positively Black. Beyond her dance career Reverend Nafisa Sharriff is an ordained Interfaith Minister and the founder and CEO of Entering the Holy of Holies, An Institute of Learning and Healing, Inc. (ETHOH). Through ETHOH Reverend Nafisa conducts classes, workshops, seasonal cleanses, a Woman's Rite of Passage, and retreats in meditation, stress management, inner healing, and Spiritual Tools for Transformation. She teaches a free traditional West African dance class in Harlem, New York where everyone is welcomed into her family of Love.

The Clark Center 60th Anniversary Tribute: 5Plus Ensemble / Dyane Harvey-Salaam / Juel D. Lane / Amy Hall Garner Dances / HSA Dance Ensemble

Thursday, August 15, 2019

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Marcus Garvey Park

In celebration of the Center's 60th anniversary, the tribute showcase upholds the mission of a space to cultivate emerging artists, with room for dancers and choreographers from every background to feel comfortable to create the work they want to make. Clark Center has long served as an incubator for young talent and many of the choreographers who worked at the center have gone on to create their own companies. Much of the all-star lineup has been around since the center first opened. 5Plus Ensemble features dancers 50 years of age and older, including former Ailey dancers, Hope Clarke and Michael Thomas; Dyane Harvey (an alumni of Eleo Pomare's company) is a founding member of Forces of Nature Dance Theatre) and award recipient, including multiple AUDELCO Awards as well as a recent nomination for Outstanding Revival for "HEX", by Eleo Pomare at the 2019 Bessie Awards; Juel D. Lane has been a featured choreographer for Ailey II and had work commissioned by the Atlanta Ballet; Amy Hall Garner has choreographed, coached, and worked as a creative consultant on projects such as Law & Order, and Chappelle's Show, and teaches at New York University's New Studio on Broadway at Tisch School of the Arts; and The HSA Dance Ensemble features young dancers from the Harlem School of The Arts, and led by former Ailey dancer, Aubrey Lynch.

A Celebration of Brazilian Dance

Saturday, August 17, 2019

11:30 am - 4:00 pm

11:30am - 1pm Samba

1 - 2pm Brazilian/Capoiera dance on film with Q&A
2:15-3:15 Capoiera Demonstration

El Barrio's ArtSpace

215 E 99th St, New York, NY 10029

SAMBA Class

11:30am - 1pm: Samba class with Lilka Mimbella who has performed with Viva Brazil Dance Company, Ochumare Dance Company and The Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company.

FILM

1:00 pm: A special screening of "Capoeira of Brazil" followed by a discussion with Writer/Producer/Director, Warrington Hudlin, and C. Danny Dawson, Director of Photography.

CAPOEIRA DEMONSTRATION

2:15-3:15 pm with Leandro Silva (Alegria)

Leandro Silva began his Capoeira training at the age of ten years old with Mestre Jelon Vieira and has demonstrated and taught Capoeira throughout Brazil, the United States and Europe.

In 1959, Alvin Ailey was one of the gifted young artists who emerged in the late 1950's and early 1960's. This upsurge of talented, mostly Black dancers and choreographers, eager to have their work seen on the concert stage, had little or no access to rehearsal space to create their work. According to Mr. Ailey, who referred to Clark Center as his 'ritual home,' "Dance grew like Topsy there. Clark Center was the only reason we were able to continue." Because Clark Center opened its doors to Mr. Ailey, he in turn provided others who followed with free rehearsal space and performing opportunities. Sadly, the center became the victim of gentrification and was forced to officially close its doors in 1989. Clark Center NYC, now a 501c3 nonprofit, was created in 2013 by a handful of dancers to preserve the history and legacy of their beloved Center. For more info: www.clarkcenternyc.org.


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