Friday, February 08, 2013

Wanda's Picks Radio: Friday, February 8, 2013

Bryant Bolling, speaks to us about TuBeNu Productions "Black Like Me in America: A Musical Journey through Slavery, at Joyce Gordon Gallery, 406 14th Street, Oakland, CA, on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, 4-6 p.m. It is a free event. He was joined by Derek "Mac Quan," a wonderful poet who will share the program with Bryant.

    Next in the studio is Kim McMillon playwright who drops in to talk about her latest work, "Black Heaven" and a staged reading at The Frank Bette Center, 7-9 p.m., 1601 Paru Street (at Lincoln) in Alameda, CA, (510) 523-6957. This is another free event (smile).

    Victor Lawhorn was commissioned to write a play about aviator, Bessie Coleman, 12 years ago. "A Shadow in the Clouds: The Story of Bessie Coleman," opens tonight at Black Rep in Berkeley, 3201 Adeline Street (at Ashby), Berkeley, CA. He is joined by actress Natalie Bennett, who portrays Queen Bessie.

    We close with our annual conversation with Laura Elaine Ellis with special guests, among them Latanya b. Tigner and Deborah Vaughn to talk about this years celebration of Dimensions Dance Theatre and "The 9th Anniversary of Black Choreographers Here and Now" opening tomorrow, Saturday, February 9, 2013 at Laney College Theatre, 900 Fallon Street, Oakland, CA.


Nathalie Autumn Bennett (Actor) is an accomplished actor who has established a strong local following as a result of her numerous leading roles at the Black Repertory Group. Currently based in Los Angeles and a member of SAG-AFTRA, Ms. Bennett is making special appearances at BRG to perform in the one-woman shows, "A Shadow in the Clouds" and "Tituba."

Victor Lawhorn (Director) is a North Bay Area Arty recipient for Best Director for My Children, My Africa!, Solano College Theater (SCT) and Best Actor for Flyin’ West. He received an Arty award for Best Costumes for Blues for An Alabama Sky, which he also directed.  He has received numerous Sacramento’s Elly nominations for Best Director and Best Actor. His directing credits include the critically acclaimed A Soldier’s Play, Laura, The Rose Tattoo, Night Mother, Raisin in the Sun, Fences, Glengarry Glen Ross, Othello, For Colored Girls  Who Have Considered Suicide, Murder Dressed in Satin, Flyin’ West, Steal Away, Tambourines to Glory, and The Colored Museum, He has written, and directed for Mira Theatre Guild the musicals Dragonville, and  Martianville. A graduate of U.C. Berkeley and Western State University of Law, Victor practices law in southern California and the Bay area for over 20 years.

Deborah B. Vaughan is celebrating her 40th Anniversary as founder, artistic director, and choreographer of Dimensions Dance Theater which has become widely recognized for its presentation of traditional African dances and contemporary choreography drawn from African, jazz, and modern dance idioms.  .

Dimensions is deeply committed to arts education and outreach, and pursues this vital aspect of its mission through Rites of Passage, a comprehensive program serving young people in the bay area

Ms. Vaughan has taken Dimensions on toured throughout the U.S. including engagements at the Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival; the first National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta; the Forum for Contemporary Dance/Dance for Tolerance Festival in Bonn, Germany; the Festival del Caribe in Santiago, Cuba; and at venues in Jordan, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe.  

Latanya d. Tigner has performed professionally with Dimensions Dance Theater for over 20 years, and is a respected performer, teacher, and choreographer. Her work, which blends traditional African, contemporary, and jazz movement, has been performed in DDT’s home seasons, Black Choreographers Festival, SF Ethnic Dance Festival, Congo-Brazzaville, and Paris.

Raissa Simpson is the Artistic Director and Founder of Push Dance Company aka Push. Simpson has an extensive performance career in the Bay Area. She has toured and performed with Robert Moses Kin and Joanna Haigood’s Zaccho Dance Theatre. Articulating details through the whole body, she is an award-winning artist whose work gains a deeper understanding of challenges of mixed heritage by using non-traditional dance forms. Edgy, sleek, and sexy, Push generates a fresh perspective from intermingling diverse dancers in raw situations- aptly described as “emotional and kinetic changes.”

Laura Elaine Ellis is co-founder and Executive Director of the African & African American Performing Arts Coalition (AAAPAC) – this non-profit organization co-presents the Black Choreographers Festival: Here & Now (BCF), which is in its 9th year of presenting this all-community event that offers performances, mentoring, master classes, symposia, and special events celebrating African American Art and Culture. 

Laura Elaine Ellis said, “We are bringing artists together from the Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, the Congo, and Nigeria to collaborate and perform; to inspire and inform!”

The 9th Annual Black Choreographers Festival: Here & Now performance schedule includes:

BCF Oakland: Performances at Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon St, Oakland

• Saturday, February 9 at 8pm — BCF Celebrates Dimensions Dance Theater's 40th Anniversary - a Special Event honoring Artistic Director & Choreographer Deborah B. Vaughan.

• Sunday, February 10 at 4pm — BCF Family Matinee

Featuring Pre-professional Youth Companies performing works by Sarah Crowell, Latanya d. Tigner, Phylicia Stroud, Reginald Savage, Elvia Marta, Dr. Albirda Rose.

BCF San Francisco: Performances at Dance Mission Theater, 3316 - 24th Street, San Francisco

• Friday-Saturday, February 15-16 at 8pm

• Sunday, February 17 at 4pm & 7pm

BCF Concert Series – New Works and SF Premieres

Featuring Camille A. Brown (New York), Latanya d. Tigner and Kiasi Malonga, Gregory Dawson, Raissa Simpson (Bay Area), Qudus Onikeku (Nigeria)

• Friday-Saturday, February 22-23 at 8pm

• Sunday, February 24 at 7pm

BCF's Next Wave Choreographers Showcase

Featuring Emerging and Mid-Career Artists Serenity Mlay, Afia Thompson, Colette Eloi, Antoine Hunter, Roquisha Townsend, Jamar Welch, and many more.

Tickets to performances are $10–$20, available through Programming is subject to change; please check the website for updates and additional information on performances, master classes, symposia, and other events: For general information, group sales, and to volunteer, call 866.898.2272.



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