Brooklyn’s premier presenter of contemporary performing arts by artists of African descent, 651 ARTS remains a leader in supporting and presenting dynamic black artists. The 28th season continues this focus by offering audiences four Classically Black evenings of dance, poetry and music.
Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC) opens the season March 5. Their first NYC performance in a decade embodies a classically Black movement tradition that references collective memories to dislocate, replant, and ultimately grow something new. Pianist Kris Bowers then curates an evening of music and film on March 8 celebrating Black composers with an array of special guests including Deva Mahal, daughter of legendary blues musician Taj Mahal.
Hip-hop ambassador Toni Blackman brings twenty years of hosting cyphers to lead an innovative experience on March 9 including a master workshop with renowned vocalist Jeremiah Abiah and a classic vibe session inviting inter-generational voices to honor their love for Hip-Hop culture. Finally, audiences can enjoy dynamic music from Haitian supergroup Lakou Mizik on May 6.
As author Aimee Meredith Cox reflects, “Classically Black is never stagnant nor does it pander to aesthetic mandates around method, structure, or form that have historically excluded perspectives emerging from the African diaspora.”