Abeni’s “Visions” Celebrates Its 5th Anniversary

Abeni Cultural Arts Performing Dance Studio will be presenting encore performances of their production entitled, Visions: An Odyssey in Black Dance. The performances will be February 24 and 25 at 7pm and February 26 at 3pm at the Black Box at S.P.A.C.E. The show presents a journey through history with African, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz and Hip-Hop dance. Their performances last February played to standing room audiences.

Abeni Cultural Arts was founded in April 2006. The company’s artistic director Muriel Miller and manager Darowe McMillon are excited about this year’s production because it is the fifth anniversary of Visions. In 2007, then city theater coordinator D.J. Queenan asked Abeni to put together a dance show for Black History Month. “D.J. specifically asked us not to put on a dance recital. So, we came up with a storyline that would tell the story of African-Americans journey from slavery through present day. We then found music for choreography, wrote poems to recite, and added dialogue to make it theatrical,” Miller said. In February 2008 the first production was held and it was a huge success.

The show begins with a beautiful wedding in an African village that gets interrupted by slave catchers. Then the enslaved Africans begin their journey across the ocean. “The Middle Passage which brought Africans to America is comparable to the Trail of Tears in showing how inhumane and insensitive humans can be when it comes to the rights of people living on their own land,” McMillon said. “But, despite this, the experience formed the catalyst that sparked a generation of African- Americans to help build these United States of America. We continue to use this inspiration so that one day we can truly call these lands our lands.”

Tickets for the shows will be $5 and will go on sale February 1. Tickets may be purchased at the Abeni Dance Studio at 8400 B Abercorn Street Monday through Friday 5pm-7pm and at the door. Doors will open at 6 p.m. on Friday & Saturday for the performance at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday for the performance at 3 p.m. S.P.A.C.E. is located at 9 W. Henry St. Free off-street parking is available. For information, contact 912-631-3452 or visit abenidancestudio.webs.com

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