Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center Presents 35th Annual Showcase in Brooklyn

By Walter Rutledge

The Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center (THPAC) will present their annual choreographers showcase entitled Souls
of Our Feet: People of Color Dance Festival at the Kumble Theater located on the downtown Brooklyn campus of Long Island University. The three-day event will take on Sunday June 17, Tuesday June 19 and Wednesday June 20. The Sunday June 17 opening performance is at 7pm, the June 19 and 20 performances begin at 7:30 pm.

The showcase will highlight the work of seven new, emerging and established choreographers and dance companies. The artists/companies to be presented are Germaul Barnes/Viewsic Expressions Dance, Sidra Bell Dance, DANCE IQUAIL, Danse4Nia, Francesca Harper Project, Jamal Jackson Malcolm Low, and Tony and Emmy Award winner George Faison. This varied and diverse group will offer a program ranging from dance/theatre to abstract narratives.

In Photo: Rachel Neville and Iquail Shaheed Photo Credit: Joseph “Nana” Sargent

This season marks the thirty-six year of arts presenting by THPAC. Larry Phillips founded the organization in 1976 to offer performance opportunities for underserved artists of color. The organization has provided a nurturing environment and much need visibility to many emerging and established artists and companies. Alvin Aley American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Philadanco, Ronald K. Brown and Evidence, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, George Faison, Louis Johnson, Rod Rogers, and Forces of Nature are but a few of the many artists presented by the Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center.

Under the direction of Executive Director Alex Smith, Jr. the organization continues its commitment to showcase the next generation of artist and companies. THPAC also prides itself on preserving and educating the public by presenting important/ timeless masterworks by established choreographers. In additions to this series THPAC will present three more events including two PEEKS performances, which presents works in progress and a restaging of the 2010 production Ramp To Paradise. What Is, the work being presented by the Francesca Harper Project in the Souls of Our Feet series was presented as a work in progress at last year at PEEKS.

The organization accomplishes this on an ever-increasingly meager budget; literally taking the financial equivalent of three fish and five loaves and somehow each year feeds the “multitude” of dance enthusiasts. This is the season of our discontent. It is at both the best of times and worst of times. The arts, and dance in particular find themselves under great financial strains due to scarce and dwindling funding outlets. But THPAC, which has weathered many a storm, has mined the dance community for the best of the best once again to bring to the stage and to our audiences. We just keep going!” says Alex Smith, Jr.

Tickets are now on sale of the Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center’s Souls Of Our Feet. Tickets can be purchased Tickets at the Kumble Theater box office, 718-488-1624, and online at www.kumbletheater.org. Special ticket sale price of $10 before June 17.

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