Philadanco! Presents Strange Fruit

“Strange Fruit” is an excerpt from “New Fruit,” a ballet choreographed by Christopher Huggins, which gives audiences a glimpse into the unchanged landscape of the cycle of sanctioned violence on Black and Brown bodies in America. This moving meditation physicalizes lynching, or Strange Fruit, as described in the 1939 song recording by Billie Holiday. “We are still smelling strange fruit in 2020. When will the scent of this strange fruit become the perfume of justice?” asks creator Christopher Huggins, who is a former member of the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. This haunting and beautiful piece was re-imagined off the stage by Philadanco! dancer William Burden and was filmed locally, in a Philadelphia park. Burden says tapping into this horrific place in American history was no easy feat as an African American dancer; however, he was forced to dig deep to touch the rage and sorrow of his ancestors.

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