THE DALLAS BLACK DANCE THEATRE PRESENTS CULTURAL AWARENESS ON
FEBRUARY 16-18 AT THE WYLY THEATRE, 2400 FLORA STREET, DALLAS, TEXAS.
THE PROGRAM IS A TIME TO EMBRACE AND CELEBRATE CULTURES.
Dance, poetry and The Kickin' Brass Band are used to reflect on the 12-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in Displaced, Yet/Rebirth. Hurricane Katrina survivor Michelle N. Gibson uses choreographic artistry to weave movement and traditions of the rich New Orleans culture she calls home. The New Orleans native, who now resides in Dallas, is a walking, talking and dancing encyclopedia of New Orleans culture and history. I had the opportunity to spend some time with Ms. Gibson and The Dallas Black Dance Theratre troop at a rehearsal as they prepared for the opening night of their dance performance. The very first thing you notice about Michelle Gibson is her passion. Her passion for dance, her passion for New Orleans and her passion for humanity.
Ms. Gibson is the "mother hen" to all the young dancers who hang on her every word and direction. She prays with the group before rehearsal. She teaches them and most of all she dances with the group helping to bring out not just the dancers technique, but she imparts the soul of the dance on each of the members of the Dance Theatre. She also listens. During the rehearsal they collective group of dancers and musicians had a problem on where to end a piece of music so the dancers could all end in unison with the band. One of the dancers suggested a small change at the end of the piece that would put the brass band and the dancers on the same page. Ms. Gibson eagerly allowed the group to work it out together to solve the issue and then, with her blessing, the problem was resolved.
I was lifted simply by the rehearsal. The combination of the authentic brass band, lead by lead trumpet player Thaddeus Ford II and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre gave me chills. Add to that some choreography to some spoken word pieces where the group has to evacuated New Orleans and you have not just an entertaining dance piece; you have a very moving one. Choreographer Michelle Gibson puts all of her heart and soul into this number and the "Rebirth" dance is only one of five dances which will be featured on the program.
Another aspect of the Dallas Black Dance program is a tribute to one of the most iconic leaders of our time, Nelson Mandela. "His Grace" by Christopher L. Huggins is dedicated to the former South African president. The work features images of Mandela along with techno music from American artist Moby. The program runs Friday, February 16th and Saturday, February 17th at 7:30PM and there is a matinee on Sunday, February 18th at 2:30PM.
Tickets are available at the AT&T performance website:https://tickets.attpac.org/production/46422