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Get your dancing shoes

Posted July 14, 2006 8:24 pm (about 4945 days ago)

Check out some of these upcoming and ongoing events

For those who love dance, I have three things to tell you about. The first is in Oakland at Club Anton's. D & M Productions have begun a weekly Friday happy hour from 6-10 PM. While the organizers emphasize that it's a happy hour and not a dancing set, it attracts many from the local Chicago Step scene so except to get some work in. Click here for more info. I went last week and it was quite nice. A good crowd and friendly people.

Second, for those near Houston. Be sure to check out the Dance Fusion USA Conference, July 28-30. There will be workshops and events related to Detroit Ballroom (Cha-Cha), Bop, Swing, Chicago Step, and Line Dancing (known as hustles to many of us, not the country-style kind). My friend Kevin Collins from Detroit is helping organize this and he's and excellent dancer. I won't be able to make it, but would if I could. You don't have to be a dancer to appreciate this event. You just have to like music and people!

Finally, in Detroit check out this event. I'll just post the press release since it sounds so much better than me!

Katherine Dunham, an internationally renowned pioneer of modern dance, culture and human rights made her final transition May 21, 2006 at age 96 in New York City. In honor of the late Ms. Dunham, The Detroit Dunham Legacy Project Presents the National Memorial Tribute--An Affair to Remember 7 p.m. July 28 at Fellowship Chapel, 7707 W. Outer Drive. A national treasure, recognized by Oprah Winfrey as a Legend, Dunham has left a deep imprint on thousands of people around the world, leaving behind her life’s work — the Katherine Dunham Technique—an approach to dance that she defined as "a way of life". The event will pay tribute to the technique, including spectacular live drumming, singing and dancing, featuring the Dunham dance technique, rare video clips and renowned guests. Excerpts from the writings of Ntzake Shange will highlight the evening as well. Proceeds will benefit a Detroit Dunham training program to begin in 2007. Ms. Dunham spent the last 3 decades of her life developing programs of great significance for youth, using a process she framed as, "Socialization through the Arts". Dunham is recognized as the founder of the first African American Modern Dance Company, a milestone she achieved in the 1930s. Her troupe traveled around the United States and to over 250 countries sharing modern, Afro-Haitian, and Afro-Caribbean dance. The Katherine Dunham troupe also performed in the film Stormy Weather (1943) starring Lena Horne, making Dunham the first to bring African dance to film. Dunham has continued to share her technique – which combines traditional modern, classical ballet, and various traditional dance forms of the African Diaspora, influencing the work of Alvin Ailey, Marlon Brando, and Eartha Kitt. In her lifetime, Ms. Dunham won numerous awards including the Kennedy Medal of Honor for her work as a choreographer, anthropologist and human rights activist. Dunham devoted her life to service, drawing from her monumental strides in the art world to help underserved communities. She certified only a handful of instructors to pass on her technique and philosophy including Detroit’s own Dunham-Certified Teacher, Penny Godboldo, director of the Detroit Dunham Legacy Project. Other participants include professionals, educators, clergy, students and long-time admirers, framing a program in the spirit of Dunham’s desire to bring dance to the community. For more information and to contribute to the Detroit Dunham Legacy Project send and make checks payable to Hartford Agape House, 18515 James Couzens, Detroit, MI 48235 or call 313.861.1200. For information about Katherine Dunham and the historical impact she has spread from the far corners of the globe, visit www.katherinedunham.org.

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