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An inspired collaboration featuring the work of emerging choreographers, rooted in African dance

As they continue a legacy of infusing African dance with contemporary sensibilities, Philadelphia’s pre-eminent African dance company, Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble will partner with The Requisite Movers (TRM) to present Let the Roots Show – an electric showcase of emerging choreographers who are rooted in African dance. The 2-day, dance collaborative will take place at the Painted Bride Art Center on Saturday, November 24th at 7:00p.m. and Sunday, November 25th at 4:00p.m.

Let the Roots Show will feature new works by Lela Aisha Jones, Kùlú Mèlé’s Cachet Ivey and Acacia Reed, and a revision of one of Kùlú Mèlé’s most beloved pieces, Oya, choreographed by Kùlú Mèlé Artistic Director Dorothy Wilkie.  Jones, founder and director of FlyGround, and Deneane Richburg of Brownbody, serve as co-founders of The Requisite Movers which was formed in 2012 to produce the works of Black female movement artists. Let the Roots Show will run approximately 90 minutes with intermission. Tickets are $20 in advance/$25 at the door; with tickets for children 12 and younger, $12 in advance and $15 at the door.

Inspired by the voices of our ancestors, Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble preserves, presents and builds upon the dance and music of Africa and the African Diaspora. Founded in 1969 by Baba Robert Crowder and led by Artistic Director Dorothy Wilkie for more than 20 years, the Philadelphia-based dance troupe is known for infusing African dance with urban American flair. Having studied with many master choreographers and drummers, including M’Bemba Bangoura, Moustapha Bangoura, Danis “LaMora” Perez Prades, and Youssouf Koumbassa, Kùlú Mèlé boasts a rich repertoire of authentic, folkloric dance from Guinea, Haiti, Nigeria, Senegal, and Cuba.

Tickets for Let the Roots Show can be purchased by visiting www.paintedbride.org/events/lettherootsshow, calling 215-925-9914, or stopping by the Painted Bride box office, Tuesday-Saturday, noon-6:00p.m.

Event Details
What: Let the Roots Show, a dance collaborative between Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble and The Requisite Movers.
When: Saturday, November 24th at 7:00p.m. and Sunday, November 25th at 4:00p.m.
Where: Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106.
Cost: Children, 12 or younger: $12 in advance and $15 at the door; Adults: $20 in advance/$25 at the door.

- Steven Weisz

Founder & Editor
While not a dancer himself, Weisz’s love for the arts and dance started as a child growing up in New York City. With parents, who were strong supporters of the arts and part of a community with an incredible array of notable artists in music, dance, theater and fine arts, Weisz’s access and affinity for the performing arts took root. Upon attending college in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid 70’s, Weisz started performing as a puppeteer, magician, juggler and fire eater as a means of supplementing his income. This soon grew in to what became Rainbow Promotions Inc., one of the largest entertainment and special events producers in the region. It was here that he began to promote and book dance for major events throughout the city. Many of the dancers he worked with in the early days of his company are now major choreographers in Philadelphia. At the same time, Weisz’s interest in computers and the early developments of what is now known as the Internet, led him to also start another company, Delaware Valley On Line, which became one of the first regional ISPs. It was this combination of event production, internet development and event marketing that led him to examine the use of the internet as a means to promote the arts. Dance continued to be a major interest for Weisz and in 2005 he founded PhiladelphiaDANCE.org as a major online resource to promote dance in the city. It was soon after that the Dance Journal was also founded as a way to provide an outlet for writing on a range of topics that encompass the ever growing and emerging dance community in the region. Weisz continues to run both PhiladelphiaDANCE and The Dance Journal on purely a voluntary basis with no income derived from any of his projects. He is also the Artistic Director of Graffito Works, a unique platform for dancers and performing artists to create site-specific work and to make it readily accessible to the public.

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