Black Art of Dance concert series continues with 21st showing at Sac State

A’talah Foster

Heritage and music collide in the dance department’s annual concert celebrating black dance culture.

The dance department holds the Sacramento/Black Art of Dance Company, which has been at Sac State for more than 21 years.

Dance choreographer Linda Goodrich created the dance company following in the footsteps of dancer Katherine Dunham.

Dunham was an African-American dancer who directed her own “Katherine Dunham Dance Company,” which was the first self-supported black dance company in the 1940s and 1950s.

“I am proud that (Sacramento/Black Art of Dance) has continued to be a part of the dance department and still holds concerts on campus,” Goodrich said.

Sacramento/Black Art of Dance is hosting the “New Beginnings” concert where students will display different aspects of dance. The music accompanying each dance number was chosen in order to imbue ambience throughout the audience.

“The dances will be hard to take your eyes away from,” choreographer Lorelei Bayne  said. “We have different displays of culture with contemporary Brazilian, African-Cuban and smooth music from Maxwell.”

The New Beginnings concert opens up with Goodrich’s energetic “Elegua Fusion” piece that interprets a symbolic African dance. The dancers represent the symbols of rock, tree and river through their costumes.

Goodrich also choreographed a piece along with theater and dance department chair and faculty adviser for Sons & Ancestors Players Melinda Wilson Ramey.

Along with the dance, Sac State’s African-American theater club Sons & Ancestors players perform a spoken word poem from Maya Angelou’s “On the Pulse of Morning”.

“This show is definitely worth the time to come and see,” said junior theater major Ashlee Woods. “I am excited to perform in this phenomenal show. There is so much talent in this one room – it’s overwhelming.”

Sac State alum Lean Damasco choreographs the following number, a hip-hop piece titled “Stay Calm, Carry On.” Damasco graduated last spring and choreographed a hip-hop piece for last year’s concert as well.

Another dance within the same genre is choreographer Nzinga Woods’s dance “The Girls.” The dance involves crumping and women displaying their love for their bodies.

“Dear George,” choreographed by Goldie and Izzie Award winner Shakri, depicts the happenings of war and the effects it has on the soldiers and their loved ones.

Bayne’s “Nothing’s Quite As It Seems” and Phillip Flickinger’s “Shadow of a Flame” displayed contemporary pieces.

“New Beginnings” is a collaboration of Sac State dance majors and graduates displaying the rhythmic movements of passion behind their craft on stage.

Performances will be presented through March 10. General admissions ticket price is $12 while the student, staff and faculty price is $10.

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