Featuring EMERGE125 and Classical Theatre of Harlem’s The Creation
Monday, September 26 at 6PM at Bryant Park, Manhattan
Free and Open to the Public with First-come, First-served Seating
On Monday, September 26 at 6:00pm, EMERGE125, Classical Theatre of Harlem, St. Ann’s Warehouse and Little Amal partner together at Bryant Park as part of #LittleAmalWalksNYC, a festival of art and hope to amplify the voices of marginalized people worldwide.
Measuring nearly twelve feet tall, Handspring Puppet Company’s Little Amal has become an internationally-recognized celebrity. Following her original appearance as the biggest star of the 2019 Obie Award-winning play, The Jungle, Little Amal and her team traversed over 5000 miles on foot across Europe for The Walk project, drawing attention to the plight of childhood refugees and asylum seekers at politically-charged public gatherings. Now, Amal journeys to New York City as a beacon of hope and a larger-than-life symbol of the American immigrant experience.
Little Amal will be welcomed to Bryant Park with a special performance of The Creation, a celebration of the Harlem Renaissance written by James Weldon Johnson, featuring dance from EMERGE125 alongside master drummer Baba Don Babatunde.
Celebrating Hazel Scott: Pianist, Singer, Actress and Activist Featuring Tiffany Rea-Fisher of EMERGE125
Presented in Cooperation with Washington Performing Arts and Dance Theatre of Harlem
This special evening salutes a pathbreaking Black artist whose legacy continues to resonate today. Brilliant and glamorous, fluent in seven languages, Hazel Scott was a prodigiously talented jazz and classical pianist, a true media star who enjoyed fame on the concert stage, in film and in television in the 1940’s and ‘50’s. Defying segregation and breaking racial barriers as a performer, she would become an influential Civil Rights activist whose courageous testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities damaged a remarkable career.
Join us to view an excerpt from a new work created to honor her artistry and her extraordinary life, Dance Theatre of Harlem’s soon-to-be-premiered Sounds of Hazel, co-commissioned by Washington Performing Arts. The artist’s biographer Karen Chilton moderates a panel discussion bringing together Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Artistic Director Virginia Johnson, choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Hazel Scott’s son, Adam Clayton Powell III, and Janet McKinney, Archivist, Music Division, Library of Congress. The Janelle Gill Trio performs to cap off the evening.
Worldwide Premiere of New Dance Work: Sounds of Hazel
Artistic Director, Virginia Johnson
Choreographer, Tiffany Rea-Fisher
Composer, Erica “Twelve45” Blunt
at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington D.C. Tickets Start at $30
Co-commissioned by Washington Performing Arts Presented in Partnership with CityDance
In this special three-performance engagement at Sidney Harman Hall, Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) presents the world-premiere ballet Sounds of Hazel, co-commissioned by Washington Performing Arts, and inspired by the life and work of Hazel Scott – the prodigiously gifted Trinidadian-American jazz and classical pianist, bandleader, recording artist, and star of stage and screen. Scott, also known for her fervent civil rights activism, suffered persecution at the height of her fame amid the hysteria of McCarthyism. DTH founding member and artistic director Virginia Johnson, choreographer Tiffany Rea-Fisher, and composer Erica “Twelve45” Blunt spearhead the Sounds of Hazel creative team. In Rea-Fisher’s words: “Hazel Scott was a diva with a capital ‘D,’ but she was also super-grounded. She was not afraid to be raw and rough while also being glamorous. Her erasure from history was intentional because she was so audacious. People actively tried to erase her…so to be able to not only not erase her but celebrate her for all that she is and was is really super-super exciting.”
DTH will also stage their acclaimed Higher Ground, a 2021 social commentary set to Stevie Wonder’s Motown hits. The piece mixes neoclassical dancing with contemporary African-American social dancing, as choreographed by Dance Theatre of Harlem’s resident choreographer Robert Garland.
Read a New Interview with EMERGE125 Executive Artistic Director Tiffany Rea-Fisher hatchers.tv/tongue/tiffany-rea-fisher
Find out more about the inspirations, motivations and process of EMERGE125’s Executive Artistic Director Tiffany Rea-Fisher within this in-depth interview at Hatchers’ Tongues Series:
The dance world is still very white male dominated, like a lot of industries are. That sometimes means the biggest voice in the room gets the most attention. I’m not soft spoken but I’m also not naturally loud. I’m not particularly tall and I look younger than I am. That means some people think they can get over on me because they think I’m less serious than I am. So I have had to learn to flex to make myself heard clearly. It’s something I speak to students about, especially young women in the field, and it’s something I’ve taken very much to heart. You have to practice to assert yourself and build up your voice like any other muscle in your body. You’re not going to be invited to use your voice often so you need to be ready when the time comes.
EMERGE125 is a Black female-led hub for dance performance, creation, and education. The organization operates dual homes in Harlem and Lake Placid, New York, while serving audiences both locally and around the world. EMERGE125 has established itself as a leader by setting new standards for dancer care; creating innovative, cross-disciplinary collaborations with leading artists; and using movement as a catalyst for community building: expanding the reach, purpose, and impact of the art of dance. The company has expanded its scope and vision to become a truly 21st Century organization; flourishing, growing, and expanding its network and reach outside of the traditional modern dance sphere. From community dance classes to stadiums filled with thousands of spectators, EMERGE125 demonstrates that modern dance can be accessible and relatable to people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Under this new leadership, the company has redefined our organizational identity while remaining true to our founding vision. The company had always wanted to be grounded in the vibrant artistic culture of Harlem; we’ve since realized this goal by establishing a thriving education program that operates throughout the neighborhood, forging deep creative partnerships with leading Harlem arts organizations, and devising community engagement activities that respond directly to local constituents’ core interests. At the same time, we have extended our reach beyond the city, establishing a new partnership with the Lake Placid School of Dance. Tiffany has also set the company apart in our prioritization of care for the whole artist: from our professional dancers to our students, each person is celebrated as both an individual and a vital contributor. Our company doesn’t see dancers as simply tools to bring choreography to life, but as artists in their own right and critical collaborators – a perspective that is a significant shift from the field’s traditionally strict view of a dancer’s role.