40+ Black Dance Companies Come To Philadelphia's Merriam Theater

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The International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD) has partnered with Philadanco!, The Philadelphia Dance Company to bring the 32nd Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance to Philadelphia, PA in January 2020. During this conference, emerging, established, and legendary Black Dance companies from all over America will convene in the City of Brotherly Love for Then Now Next a one of a kind festival where dance lovers can experience over forty diverse companies and styles from January 15-18, 2020. This four-day conference and festival celebrates the brilliance of Black Dance companies while enhancing audiences' understanding of Black Dance history and technique.

Audiences will have the chance to see world renowned, legendary companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, PHILADANCO! and Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, A Dance Company. Along with performances from longstanding and established companies Collage Dance Collective, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Eleone Dance Theatre, Elisa Monte Dance and more. The festival will also feature trendsetting companies that push the limits of every dance genre, along with an opening night performance that will honor dance companies with Philadelphia roots.

For more information on IABD, THEN NOW NEXT and a full list of performers, please visit: https://www.iabdassociation.org/mpage/performances


Wednesday, January 15, 2020

7:30pm - 9:00pm

$50 IABD Members | $60 General Public

Join Philadelphia natives and those connected to the City of Brotherly love for the kick-off performance to the 32nd Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance.

Featuring performances by:

Contemporary West Dance Theatre (Las Vegas, NV)

Danco 2

Danse4Nia Repertory Ensemble


Just Sole! Street Dance Theater Company

Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble

Straight to the Pointe

University of the Arts

Waheed Works


Thursday, January 16, 2020

8:00pm - 10:00pm

$50 IABD Members | $60 General Public

Pushing the limits of contemporary and traditional choreography, audiences will be inspired by an explosive range of styles and techniques, cultural origins and forms of dance. This high-energy and cutting-edge performance will feature youth and collegiate performers from throughout the country.


Friday, January 17, 2020

7:30pm - 9:00pm

$50 IABD Members | $60 General Public

Carrying the legacies of Black dance pioneers forward, these companies continue to forge ahead meeting high artistic standards through an array of dance forms and techniques while providing audiences with exceptional dance performances. A celebration of various styles, national dance companies will perform choreography that can be shared with audiences of all ages.

Featuring performances by:

Ballethnic Dance Company (Atlanta, GA)


Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (Denver, CO)

Collage Dance Collective (Memphis, TN)

Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Encore! (Dallas, TX)

Dance Iquail! (Philadelphia, PA)

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (Chicago, IL)

Dissonance Dance Theatre (Washington, DC)

Eleone Dance Theatre (Philadelphia, PA)

Elisa Monte Dance (New York, NY)

Threads Dance Project (Golden Valley, MN)


Saturday, January 18, 2020

7:30pm - 10:00pm

$50 IABD Members | $60 General Public

Mastering the works of Alvin Ailey, Katherine Dunham, Martha Graham, Lester Horton and so many others, these highly unique and respected companies define the Black dance aesthetic and continue to lead the field. Exploring the many forms, styles and techniques within dance, each company will present work that encapsulates the expression and voice from a diverse group of professional choreographers.

With performances from:

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (New York, NY)

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (Denver, CO)

Dallas Black Dance Theatre (Dallas, TX)

Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York, NY)

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (Dayton, OH)

Forces of Nature Dance Theatre (New York, NY)

Lula Washington Dance Theatre (Los Angeles, CA)

PHILADANCO! The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadelphia, PA)

Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, A Dance Company (Brooklyn, NY)

Urban Bush Women (Brooklyn, NY)

Tickets range from $45 to $60 and can be purchased online via links below and at www.kimmelcenter.org. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 215-893-1999. The Merriam Theater is located at 250 S Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19102.

Continuing a tradition of progress for dancers of color, the one-of-a-kind IABD Auditions boast opportunities for youth, collegiate and professional dancers to audition for top dance companies and programs from all over the world. IABD will host its Ballet Auditions for Women and Men of Color January 18-19, 2020 with premier Ballet companies from the U.S. and Canada in attendance. Opportunities for scholarship dollars for summer intensives and collegiate programs are made possible to IABD members through the Youth and Artists Summer Intensive Scholarship Auditions. On Sunday, January 19th, the Multi-Company Dance Audition is open to the public and IABD members, providing dancers an invaluable opportunity to audition for positions in professional dance companies from around the world.

"During this annual culturally rich exchange and fully immersive experience for all things Black dance, we will share with and educate one another through creative expression and discussion of those legendary artists who shaped the blueprint for Black dance THEN, those championing the narrative NOW, and cultivating the opportunities for what and who is NEXT," states IABD President and CEO, Denise Saunders Thompson.

Continuing its legacy as the broadest international gathering of Black Dance professionals, agents, artistic directors, artists, choreographers, company managers, educators, executive directors, historians, presenters, scholars, teachers, and many others, this conference and festival is the perfect opportunity to connect with, learn from and share with dance artists from around the world. An environment for dance exploration and exchange, the stage has been set by IABD and Philadanco! to highlight and validate the significant contributions, connections and influence that dance by people of African ancestry or origin have on the American and International artistic and cultural landscapes. It is the ultimate dance experience.

Late Registration is open now. Visit www.iabdassociation.org/mpage/conference2020 to learn more.

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