Dance Fans get ready! In honor of 35 years of dance presentation, Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center (THPAC) will bring together 35 dance artists over five consecutive nights during its annual “Souls of Our Feet: People of Color Dance Festival,” June 19-23 at 7:30 p.m. at Kumble Theater.
“This is a once in a generation gathering of dance artists in New York City. The season will encompass the idea of looking back, while at the same time reaching forward. The generational expanse of the performers this season will help THPAC achieve this,” said Alex Smith, THPAC’s executive chairman.
A mainstay on the New York dance landscape, THPAC and its festival continues to provide a platform to dancers of color. The Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University has served as the festival’s home since 1992.
The “THIRTY5-IN-5” roster includes: Alfred Gallman, Alpha Omega, Balance Dance Theater, Camille Brown, Christal Brown’s INSPIRIT, Chuck Davis, Creative Outlet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Dudley Williams, Edisa Weeks, Forces of Nature, Francesca Harper, George Faison, Germual Barnes, Gus Solomon, Illstyle, Jamel Story, Karl Paris, Loretta Abbott, Marlies Yearby, Marshall Swiney, Muvdance, Nanette Bearden, Nathan Trice, Nicholas Leichter, Paz Tanjuaquio, Purelements: An Evolution in Dance, Roger C. Jeffery, Sidra Bell, Thomas/Ortiz Dance, Urban Bush Women, Walter Rutledge and Whitney Hunter.
New works will be debuted by Francesca Harper, Germaul Barnes, Marshall Swiney, Thomas/Ortiz Dance and Whitney Hunter.
Opening night tickets (including pre-show reception) are $20. A specially priced festival pass is available for $35 for all 5 nights. Offer expires June 1. Purchase tickets at the Kumble Theater box office at 718-488-1624 or online at www.kumbletheater.org. For more information about the festival, visit www.thelmahill.com.
The Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center (THPAC) was founded 35 years ago to support the creative ideas of choreographers and dance companies of color. The mission of the organization is to offer performance opportunities to artists so they can share their work with diverse communities; furnish rehearsal and "incubation" space for choreographers and dancers, and serve as a bridge between artists and the community.
Over the years, THPAC has supported and attracted emerging and established dance artists of color who seek out the organization’s experimental, yet historically aware environment. THPAC has become a viable institution for communities that have traditionally celebrated and reflected on their social and cultural issues through the rituals of music, dance, literature, and performance.
THPAC’s founder Larry Phillips began working as a dance therapist in Brooklyn at a community center that sponsored children's education and support programs for single parents attending New York Technical College. The programs were the forerunner of THPAC. In 1977, he renamed the organization after his deceased but renowned and highly influential teacher, Thelma Hill. Ms. Hill is remembered as a positive force in the dance world of New York City and beyond. She also danced with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater and the historically significant New York Negro Ballet Company. She was a member of the dance faculty at the American Dance Festival and devoted herself to teaching dance most notably at the Clark Center. She died tragically in a fire in November 1977, but her passion in nurturing talent lives on in the organization that proudly bears her name.