Dawn Marie Bazemore and her company #dbdanceproject have been in residence at the Performance Garage for the past seven months, creating a new piece titled Letters. The work examines fragmented relationships and profound loss. It will premiere in full, alongside a restaging of Bazemore’s acclaimed work The Browder Project, about the imprisonment and death of Kalief Browder, on April 19-20. An excerpt of Letters will also be presented beside NYC based companies Buglisi Dance Theatre and Dance Heginbotham at the Performance Garage’s April 11 Gala.
Bazemore had an extensive career as a performer; she was a company member at Philadanco for ten years, which was followed by roles on Broadway. It was only later that she tried her hand at choreography at the request of Philadanco, who asked her to set a work on the company. She created A Movement for Five, inspired by events surrounding the Central Park Five, which was so well received it led Bazemore to form the company #dbdanceproject. Since its inception in 2016, they have shown work at venues such as Jacob’s Pillow, Rowan University, and Nimbus Dance Works. Their mission is to utilize dance and theatre to address pressing socio-political issues.
Letters was made possible through DanceVisions, a comprehensive residency awarded by the Performance Garage to a Philadelphia choreographer. It includes a stipend, access to rehearsal space, support from administrative staff, and a concert season. Of the impact the residency has had on her company, Bazemore said “The DanceVisions Residency has offered me the tools and support to bring my artistic visions to fruition. This program is vital to the sustainability of emerging Philadelphia choreographers.”
Dawn Marie Bazemore|#dbdanceproject self-produced The Browder Project at the Performance Garage last spring, which led to her being chosen as the 2019 DanceVisions Resident Artist. Executive Director Jeanne Ruddy said “Dawn’s work speaks to the important role dance can play in furthering conversations about social justice.” In addition to rehearsals, Bazemore has participated in a panel discussion about dance in theatre spaces and offered a free open rehearsal to the public as part of her residency. This spring she will also offer workshops to high school students in the Performance Garage’s youth engagement program.
Dawn Marie Bazemore is a dancer and choreographer who is dedicated to investigating the socio-political issues that affect the African American community. In 1998, after receiving her BFA from SUNY Purchase, she relocated to Philadelphia to join Philadanco where she performed for the following ten years. In 2009, she transitioned into musical theatre, performing ensemble and featured roles in various Broadway and regional theater productions, including All Shook Up, Dreamgirls, Purlie, and The Color Purple. After earning her MFA from Hollins University, Bazemore served as a guest choreographer and Artist-in-Residence at Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and as a Master Lecturer at the University of the Arts. In 2015, she created A Movement for Five for Philadanco, inspired by events surrounding the Central Park Five, which made its world premiere at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. That same year, Dawn Marie’s essay Dance and Activism: The Practice and Impact of Sociopolitical Activism was published in the online journal The Dancer-Citizen. Bazemore currently teaches in the College of Performing Arts at Rowan University and is the 2019 DanceVisions Resident Artist at the Performance Garage.
Friday, April 19, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM
Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes with intermission (No late seating)
Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St., Philadelphia, PA 19130
Tickets: $20 General Admission, $15 Students, $15 PhiladelphiaDANCE.org Members
Information & Tickets: https://www.performancegarage.org/2019-dancevisions
Photo credit: Dave Cimetta