How are social and civil rights movements expressed, pursued and propelled through the performing arts?
We explored the role that movement has in activism in this celebration hosted by WQXR’s Terrance McKnight, recorded live on our stage Jan. 14, 2016. The evening featured live performances and conversation with a range of artists whose work has been influenced and inspired by the legacy of Dr. King: choreographer Nai Ni Chen; writer and poet Joshua Bennett; step dance group Soul Steps; the Harlem Chamber Players; and Diversity Youth Theater.
Nai Ni Chen, a choreographer who creates dance performances with the intention of bringing people together to celebrate their differences, explore their heritage and imagine a boundless future.
Soul Steps, an African-American step dance group that combines percussive movement, hip-hop rhythms and call and response to create an explosive art form.
Harlem Chamber Players, an ethnically diverse collective of professional musicians dedicated to bringing high-caliber, affordable and accessible live classical music to people in the Harlem community and beyond.
Diversity Youth Theater, performing an excerpt from “The Movement,” an a cappella musical inspired by the 1963 children’s march against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama.
Joshua Bennett, an award winning writer, author, poet and doctoral candidate at Princeton University; his work has taken him from the Sundance Film Festival to the White House and across three continents; additionally he is a recent National Poetry Series Prizewinner for his book The Sobbing School, forthcoming from Penguin Books.