Dance Department presents ‘Moonshine’ celebration of Black History Month on Feb. 24

The UW–Madison Dance Department and Professor Chris Walker are delighted to present “Moonshine,” on Friday, Feb. 24, at 3:30 p.m. in the Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space, Lathrop Hall (1050 University Avenue). This free event is a celebration of Black History Month, with live music, contemporary theater, and dance performances including West African, Afro-Caribbean, and Hip-Hop dance forms.

Promo image for Moonshine 2023This year’s “Moonshine” performance will feature “Manifesting Destiny: A 3/5 Proclamation,” a work by guest artist Charles O. Anderson, chair of Ohio State University’s Department of Dance, who reset this work on UW–Madison Dance students for performance in the Dance Department’s “Faculty Concert 2023.” An excerpt from “Fences,” directed by Professor Baron Kelly of the UW–Madison Department of Theatre and Drama and performed by Micah Anderson, will also be on the program as well as a performance from Porsha Olayiwola, a Division of the Arts artist in residence.

Toronto-based artist Kevin Ormsby, artistic director of KasheDance, will perform a solo choreographed by Joel Valentín-Martínez, associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts. The work, titled “Dear Brother,” attempts to expand visions for contemporary dance-theater, shifting the relationship of Black cultural expression from the periphery to the center of their stories and histories. Ormsby will be on campus for the week, rehearsing for “Trilogy of Being,” a solo concert featuring three choreographers including Chris Walker. In addition to performing in “Moonshine,” Ormsby will teach dance classes during the week.

Professor Chris Walker will present a solo excerpt of his work, “The Burning Barn,” featuring poetry written and performed by First Wave scholar Azura Tyabji and dance performed by UW–Madison dance degree candidate Cleo Decker. Walker will also present his work “Troubled Water,” performed by Janae Adams, Cleo Decker, and Cindy Stefanek (dance degree students), with music performed by Heavyn Dyer-Jones (School of Music degree candidate), and “Banana Man,” performed by Walker and Amansu Eason.

The program also includes a performance artwork of Danez Smith’s poem, “Genessissy,” choreographed by Chris Walker and danced by Pierre Clarke.  There will be additional performances by Alpha Stokes of the First Wave Touring Ensemble and the First Wave 15th cohort.

In an effort to expand opportunities for campus and community members to engage with Black art and recognize its contributions to American culture during Black History Month, the Dance Department will offer free dance classes the week of February 20, which are open to the public.

Learn more and see the full schedule of events.

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