The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, a nationally-respected modern dance ensemble based in Denver, CO, will be the featured dance company at the opening event for the 24th Annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival on Friday, FEbruary 1st at the Johnny Mercer Theater, Savannah Civic Center. The company is sponsored in part by a New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project grant. “The presentation of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble [is] made possible by the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project. Major support for NDP is also provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.”
The Dance Ensemble will present a mixed repertory program featuring works by internationally renowned contemporary choreographers and American dance masters such as Milton Myers. The ensemble is inspired by the African- American experience and its repertory is rooted in contemporary and ethnic dance and multi-disciplinary traditions worldwide. The col- orful program includes the 2012 premier of “Fusion” by Jeanguy Saintus. While in the city, the ensemble will present a one-day residency at Savannah Arts Academy for students enrolled in dance, and they will present a special school show for the 12th Annual School Day Extravaganza show for 4th-8th grade students in the Johnny Mercer Theater. There will be a free afternoon master class open to community dance students on January 31st from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. for a limited number of students ages 12 and up. Dance instructors or parents of dance students should call 912-358-4309 for information and reservations. The three student-focused programs presented by the dance ensemble are sponsored in part by Gulfstream Aerospace and Target.
The performance on Feb 1st at 7:30 p.m. in the Johnny Mercer Theater will be free and open to the public with a free general admission ticket. Free tickets will be distributed beginning January 18th in three locations throughout the city, plus Military families can secure tickets at a designated location at Hunter Army Airfield. There will also be a distribution site available to Senior Citizens. A limited block of tickets at “Will Call” will allow seating for tourists. Information regarding ticket distribution locations along with the date(s) available will be posted on the festival website at www.savannahblackheritagefestival. com, or one may call 912- 358-4309. A maximum of four (4) tickets will be issued per person. On the day of the performance, persons without tickets are encouraged to attend. Seating is usually available because all unclaimed seats are released to the public ten minutes prior to curtail call.
CLEO PARKER ROBINSON is founder, executive artistic director and choreographer of the 40-yearold Denver-based artistic institution, CLEO PARKER ROBINSON DANCE. She leads a professional dance Ensemble, Youth Ensemble, a School of Dance, an International Summer Dance Institute, a 300 seat theatre that bears her name, and a myriad of community outreach programs. She continues to be the recipient of honors and awards from civic, community, and artistic organizations around the world, and is called on by a myriad of organizations and performance venues to bring her Ensemble for performances, and to conduct workshops, master classes, and motivational seminars. Her philosophy of “One Spirit, Many Voices” is reflected in all she does, and is the vision she brings to everyone she meets, everywhere she goes.