Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will observe Juneteenth (June 19), commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States, by streaming Donald Byrd’s Greenwood, an ensemble work that draws on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre as a source.
The acclaimed production makes its premiere June 18 at 7 PM ET. You can stream by clicking here; it will be available online through June 25.
Set to music by Israeli violist and composer Emmanuel Witzthum, Greenwood, which made its world premiere in 2019, navigates through one of the worst incidents of racial violence in U.S. history and explores the story through the different lenses of those who were affected. To learn more about Greenwood and the history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, visit Ailey’s blog.
The cast includes Courtney Celeste Spears, Danica Paulos, Chalvar Monteiro, Clifton Brown, Ghrai DeVore-Stokes, Solomon Dumas, Jacquelin Harris, Jeroboam Bozeman, James Gilmer, Michael Jackson, Jr., Samantha Figgins, Patrick Coker, Yannick Lebrun, and Miranda Quinn.
Greenwood features choreography by Byrd, music by Witzthum, sound design by Robertson Witmer, costume design by Doris Black, and lighting design by Jack Mehler. The rehearsal associates are Mikhail Calliste, Jamal Story, Derek Crescenti, and Stephanie Guiland.
Byrd is a Tony nominee (The Color Purple), Bessie Award winner (The Minstrel Show), and a 2019 Doris Duke Artist Award recipient who has created more than 100 dance works for his own groups as well as for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet, among others.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was born out of the Civil Rights Movement when founder Alvin Ailey saw the need to celebrate the lives and stories of African-Americans and understood the power of dance as a weapon for social change. During this challenging time, the Company continues to use dance to inspire, educate, and unite all in a universal celebration of the human spirit through Ailey All Access, a series of online offerings including free streaming of performances, conversations, short films created by the dancers, and classes.