Tallahassee Ballet Presents Dance One Night “Invitation to the Party”
Tallahassee Ballet presents “An Invitation to the Party,” a one-night-only concert featuring a mixed program of various dance styles to live music featuring Leon Anderson Jr. with the TSO Jazz Band, the R&B artist Avis Berry, Opera singer Marcía Porter, and more.
The production will take place at Florida State University’s Ruby Diamond Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 7 and aims to bring members of the community together for a joyous celebration of dance and music.
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Originally scheduled for Spring 2020, TTB Artistic Director Tyrone Brooks says, “The concept of the concert is even more relevant today, with the division that has flooded our country in recent years.
Brooks, a former principal dancer at Harlem’s famed Dance Theater, was inspired for the production of the book Invitation to the Party: Building Bridges to the Arts, Culture and Community, whose author, Donna Walker-Kuhne, states that ” The arts are the only pure vehicle we have in today’s society that crosses cultural and ethnic barriers and empowers people to transcend their differences.
With dances to popular music including gospel, R&B and jazz, An Invitation to the Party is sure to delight everyone who attends. The production is TTB’s effort to welcome new audiences who may have never experienced ballet before.
After serving as the company’s artistic director for nearly 10 years, Brooks – who The New York Times hailed as a “totally outstanding” artist – is proud of the progress TTB has made in its diversity, equity and diversity strategy. ‘inclusion.
He acknowledges that “it’s still not easy to break down color barriers in established organizations” and said, “we’re just starting to see more diversity in our business.”
Setting a dance to “Respect,” guest choreographer Millicent Johnnie used the rehearsal process to explore dancers’ personal stories of marginalization in and out of the world of ballet. Johnnie, resident choreographer for Urban Bush Women of NYC, said, “The dancers were given permission to express their feelings in a safe place. No judgement. No denunciation.
Of the rehearsal process, Brooks said, “It was clear within minutes of the hour-long dialogue that these young people saw the Ballet as a haven, which makes my heart sing. That’s why we do what we do.
The concert also features the Bethel Missionary Baptist Gospel Choir singing the classic hymn “Every Praise” and soprano Dr. Marcía Porter performing an aria from Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, choreographed by Allyne Gartrell – founder and creative director of Atlanta Dance Connection . Gartrell’s Broadway credits include The Wiz, A Chorus Line, Sophisticated Ladies, and notably performed as Crown on the Porgy & Bess National Tour.
The program’s finale will “bring the house down,” says Brooks, with an explosive piece “Chaos – Day of Wrath” by 2021 Guggenheim Prize-winning choreographer Christopher L. Huggins. Brooks predicts audiences will walk away wanting more.
For tickets, from $25 to $63, visit TallahasseeBallet.org.
If you are going to
What: “An Invitation to the Party” by Tallahassee Ballet
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday May 7
Or: Florida State University Ruby Diamond Concert Hall
Tickets: $25-$63; TallahasseeBallet.org.
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