After fifteen years of performances, Charles Tyson, Jr. has stepped down as artistic director of Underground DanceWorks (UDW). This occurred while the company was in the midst of preparing for their annual season concert, calling in to doubt the future of UDW’s programming and presence in the Philadelphia performing arts community.
Underground DanceWorks was founded in 1999 by Charles Tyson, Jr. as and EclecticFunk based dance company. In 2006, UDW became a core member of Indigenous Pitch Dance Collective under director Lisa Welsh. Since that time, UDW has been able to establish itself as a bridge to social, cultural, racial, sexual and gender gaps of American Society. Through performances and residencies, UDW brought their message to new and diverse audiences over the life span of the company.
Despite struggles for funding and leadership, the dancers of UDW have banded together to keep the company running and to be able to present their 15th season concert in November at Temple University’s Conwell Dance Theater. With great dedication and devotion, company members are holding a fundraiser on Friday, September 26th at 8:00pm at the Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia.
Choreography and performances will be presented by company members Eisa Jackson, Lauren Sion, Lauren “Ren” Williams, Stephanie Vasta, Eric Wood, Rimaj Todd and Theresa Giangiulio. And yes, even former director Charles Tyson, Jr. will make an appearance to lend his support!
Suggested donation is $15 with all proceeds going to support their fifteenth season concert in November. There will be refreshments and a raffle as well.