Red Clay Dance, an all-female ensemble founded and led by Columbia College Chicago Dance Center alum Vershawn Ward (BFA ’02), will premiere a new evening-length work on Friday-Saturday, April 8-9, at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago.
The work, titled Written on the Flesh, is a world premiere. Created by Vershawn Ward, it tackles the question, “what is the residue of elegant racism and how is it written on the flesh?” The work explores themes of identity, systematic racial inequity, and the history of mass violence perpetuated against black bodies in this country. The ensemble of eight women take the audience on a journey in search of the honesty, resilience, forgiveness, and love that is needed begin anew and create a society where true equality exists for all Americans. Click here to see a video trailer of the performance.
Ward, founder and Executive Artistic Director of Red Clay Dance, is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s Dance BFA program. She also holds an MFA in Dance from New York University.
And current student Megan Elsenbroek, a senior in the Dance Center’s Dance BA major, is an apprentice with the company. Ziglar, Young, and Elsenbroek are all performing in the concerts on April 8 and 9.
The performance on Friday, April 8, features a post-show discussion with Vershawn Ward moderated by Columbia College Chicago faculty member Raquel Monroe. The performance on Saturday, April 9, is followed by Red Clay Dance’s “Paint the Town Red Gala,” a VIP post-show party with food, drink, and dancing. Written on the Flesh plays Friday-Saturday, April 8-9, at 7:30 pm at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place, Chicago. Tickets for the concert range from $12 to $30; tickets for the Saturday night gala are $65 (including admission to the concert). For tickets, call 773-624-8411 or click here.
Founded in 2008, Red Clay Dance is a professional touring company that creates and performs a diverse repertoire of Afro-contemporary dance which fuses traditional West African movement with contemporary dance forms. The company, which is in residence at Fuller Park on Chicago’s South Side, seeks to awaken “glocal” change that transforms cultural and socio-economic imbalances in our local and global community through collaborative projects between African and Afro-Diaspora artists.