UW–Madison Dance Department presents Moonshine 2024

The UW–Madison Dance Department and Professor Chris Walker are delighted to present Moonshine 2024, on Friday, Feb. 23, at 3:30 p.m. in the Margaret H’Doubler Performance Space in Lathrop Hall.

This free event is a coming together of campus, community, alumni, and students in performance to celebrate Black History Month, with live music, contemporary theater, and dance. With an emphasis on belonging, this year’s program was curated in collaboration with campus and community partners, emphasizing interconnectedness and mutual support in fostering our individual and collective flourishing.

Moonshine opens this year with masterclasses from the Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE Dance Company through a partnership between the Dance Department and the Wisconsin Union Theater. Leading up to Friday’s performance event, the Dance Department has invited Black artists to teach currently enrolled students. In addition to Ronald K. Brown, Madison Ballet’s Ja’ Malik will also teach for the department.

Two alums will be brought back to campus for the performance event: Brooklyn-based artist and former First Wave Scholar (from the first cohort) Ikwe (formerly known as Kelsey Pyro) and Milwaukee-based artist, and Dance graduate, Kimi McKissic. Ikwe and her collaborator Kino Galbraith will present MAKADEWIIYAASIKWE, a sound poem of original music and personal stories that connect the history and healing process of Native American and African American people. McKissic will present a solo dance work.

Guest artists from UW–Madison’s Office of Multicultural Arts (OMAI) Initiatives and the Mead Witter School of Music will also be on the program. OMAI’s Hip Hop Artist-in-Residence Kenji Summers will engage the audience and performers in a mindfulness practice to close the program. Summers is a contemplative artist, certified mindfulness instructor, and attention activist based in Brooklyn.

American baritone Emery Stephens and pianist Kathryn Ananda-Owen, members of the St. Olaf College faculty who are guest artists of the Mead Witter School of Music, will also perform.

The Dance Department’s newest member of the faculty, Omari Carter, will present his film “END OF THE BLOCK,” a short film combining live dance with stickman animation that illustrates the harsh realities of going beyond your postal code. Carter is a screendance practitioner and body percussionist, formerly from London, and for the past decade has been choreographing, teaching, and performing for music videos, film, television, and theater.

Guy Thorne, artistic director, choreographer and dancer at FuturePointe Dance, currently serving as the arts residency coordinator for the Division of the Arts, will present a solo work.

Local guest performances include Hanah Jon Taylor, owner of Cafe Coda and an internationally known jazz saxophonist and flutist; a new solo work from Madison Ballet, choreographed by Artistic Director Ja’ Malik; and an ensemble Hip-Hop performance from Barrio Dance, choreographed by AJ Juarez.

There will be additional performances by Quanda Johnson, PhD candidate from the Department of Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies, and from members of the First Wave Program.

A reception in the Virginia Harrison Parlor, Lathrop Hall, will immediately follow the performance.

Learn more about Moonshine 2024.

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