The rich heritage of African-inspired movement, art, history and culture is celebrated in “Legacy,” the spring concert by Sacramento/Black Art of Dance, Feb. 27-March 2 and March 5-9 at California State University, Sacramento’s Solano Hall Dancespace.
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Performances are at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 27, March 5 and 6; 8 p.m. on Feb. 28, March 1, 7 and 8; and 2 p.m. on March 2 and 9.
“We wanted to celebrate the different legacies within the African-American traditions,” said professor Linda Goodrich, S/BAD founder and director. “One piece deals with the swing era; another deals with the legacy of Nelson Mandela. The choreographers are relating to the concept of ‘Legacy’ in their own ways.”
Eight pieces will be choreographed by Goodrich, Nzinga Woods, Windy Kahana, Lorelei Bayne, Philip Flickinger, Nicole Manker, Shani Alford and Tyehimba Kokayi. They will guide 35 dancers using music by performers such as Nina Simone, Cassandra Wilson, The Roots and DJ Dimsa. There also will be live drumming, poetry and video.
Manker is staging her piece to Earth, Wind and Fire’s version of “Got to Get You Into My Life,” “Getaway” and “September.”
Manker is creating a generic city to show people interacting with one another.
“The movement came before I chose the music,” she said. “I was thinking of the legacy of hope.”
The piece’s 10 dancers will show how hope can give people the strength to make it through life’s difficulties.
The piece has three sections, said dancer Danielle Johnson, adding that the performers have received a lot of latitude from Manker to bring their own interpretations to the number.
“It’s very open,” Johnson said. “It’s what we want our characters to say.”
“Nicole said we could be anything we want,” said dancer Brianna James.
The concert is bound to appeal to a broad audience because of the varied music and dance.
“We have a variety of hip-hop, belly dancers, modern dancers and swing,” James said. “And with our choreographers being so open to allowing us to give our input, you’ll see a lot of strength, endurance and determination within this program.”
Ure Egbuho, another of Manker’s dancers, echoed that assessment. “S/BAD is known for putting on great shows and this won’t be any different.”
Tickets for the 6:30 performances are $8 for general, students and seniors and $5 for children. All other performances are $12 general, $10 students and seniors and $8 children. Tickets are available at the university ticket office at 916-278-4323 or csus.edu/hornettickets.
For more information about the theater and dance department call 916-278-6368 or visit csus.edu/dram.