In its first major virtual offering since the March COVID-19 shutdown, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities present Out Of The Box: A Virtual Celebration of Dance and historic legacy by the two organizations with seminal social justice themes from the 1960s and 70s. Webcast Saturday, August 22 at 8 p.m. and streaming online through Friday, August 28, this program features documentary footage of two of Cleo Parker Robinson’s masterworks from the 1980s--Run Sister Run and Lush Life. Robinson is seen in conversation with CPRD co-founder and poet-in-residence Schyleen Qualls Brown, discussing the legacy of both works. Viewers will see scenes from the 1983 World Premiere of Lush Life at the Arvada Center which featured a performance by Dr. Maya Angelou, along with excerpts performed by the current CPRD Ensemble. Robinson will also be seen in her original portrayal of Angela Davis in scenes excerpted from the documentary film of the development of Run Sister Run, and discuss the development of the documentary with director Margie Soo Hoo Lee and Qualls Brown. Music in Run Sister Run was composed by Gordon Parks, director of the 1971 film SHAFT; the documentary also includes numerous scenes and interviews with Parks.This online virtual event includes bonus content: the Dancer’s Perspective from the viewpoint of several current CPRD Ensemble members. Featured will be an excerpt of Mourners Bench, the historic 1947 work, choreographed by the iconic Talley Beatty, with commentary from CPRD Ensemble member Tyvese Littlejohn who performed the solo work at the American Dance Festival in 2019. In contrast will be footage and commentary on Donald McKayle’s solo piece, LaNiña, (part of Uprooted: Pero Replantado), performed by CPRD Ensemble Principal Dancer Chloé-Grant Abel. Uprooted was McKayle’s second-to-last work; CPRD has the greatest number of rights to McKayle’s work—more than any other dance organization anywhere.
Tickets can be purchased online at cleoparkerdance.org/events for $10 per household; streaming is available August 22 through August 28.