Come see some of the best and brightest performances that the
Festival has to offer.
Dance, theatre, ROOTS members, Baltimore
community, national acts-- the evening performances are sure to keep you enthralled. Performance lasts at least two
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22:
FAT BOY is a new work by esteemed writer, director Teo Castellanos where old and
new art forms defy conventional theatrical rules to tell a timeless and timely story about
themes of waste and abundance versus scarcity and economy. FAT BOY where b-boying,
Butoh and Kubuki examines American consumerism and wastefulness juxtaposed with
world hunger and poverty to tell a compelling story. In the hands of master artist, Teo
Castellanos, FAT BOY, thought provoking and entertaining, is sure to delight audiences.
Other stylistic influences include reggae dub music, sounds of thunder and lighting used
by Jamaican dancehall DJ’s in the late seventies and early eighties, and text references
to music and culture of that era. These synergies create a new aesthetic in contemporary
dance/theater. Fat Boy is theater for the 21st century!
Returning to Baltimore after a critically acclaimed run where the Baltimore City
Paper had this to say: "PEACHES grabs at cliches of Black womanhood, deconstructs
them...and by the end of this high-energy presentation, gets them to march to their own
With soulful music and poetic essay, PEACHES spans time through our nation's memory
to deepen the identity of the woman who may, at anytime in her life be called “Peaches”,
an “angry” Black woman. Inspired in part by Nina Simone's classic song, “Four
Women,” PEACHES tackles head-on the stereotyping of African American female
identity from slavery times to the present. Alluding to both academic and popular
discourse on race in America, PT fuses elements of music, essay, traditional and non-
traditional theater into a piece presenting a rich, complicated picture of Black female
experiences in contemporary America.
ROOTS Fest audiences will have first look at a new work, MELPOMENE’S SENSE
OF HUMOR. This is a short fifteen minute excerpt of a piece that came about during
a Creative Development Residency at Jacob's Pillow, the world renown premiere
dance festival. It was recorded at the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, LA.
Maritza Mercado-Narcisse is featured on the Southern Arts Federation's registry of
Southern artists -- www.SouthernArtistry.org. After this evening, audiences will tell their
friends, “I was there that night.”
THURSDAY, JUNE 23:
I’LL REMEMBER FOR YOU, starring Lisa Suarez and Veronica Rogers is an excerpt
from a full-length new bilingual theater production depicting a Mexican-American
woman’s experiences, feelings and thoughts surrounding her mother’s dementia
and memory loss. In this courageous, deeply personal and unsentimental look at the
role of the caregiver in this growing epidemic, Suarez brings her own life with her
aging mother to the stage. She writes about – and portrays – her mother with humor
and respect, love and frustration, fear, sadness and celebration. I’ll Remember For
You is a very private look at an increasingly public dynamic.
Here’s what audiences had to say about “I’LL REMEMBER FOR YOU”: “A MUST
SEE… Lisa told my story. At one point, I was sitting where I could see the video taper’s
monitor, and in the dark, the daughter’s face became my own. This is a play that should
be produced on every stage.” Le Green
“Lisa Suarez is a true talent, and I am thankful for her bringing these realities into our
own lives.” linSUN
Gesel Mason will perform "NO LESS BLACK", a luscious solo dance performance
accompanied by the "quietly powerful poem" (New York Times) of the same name,
written by Ms. Mason. "NO LESS BLACK" tackles the complexities of race,
stereotypes, and social responsibility with humor, honesty, and simplicity.
Ms. Mason’s solo work has received outstanding reviews, “Gesel Mason’s one woman
show… was the sort of performance that in any other realm would enshrine her among a
select few standouts.” Washington Post.
Millicent Johnnie is a dancer’s dancer. Grounded in Hip Hop, modern, jazz and cultural
forms such as breaking, DAUGHTERS OF THE CANE is a powerful must see
performance. Dance is an ideal medium to explore the cultural experiences of the Sugar
Cane Plantations, cultural traditions from throughout the Caribbean and Latin America
have been handed down from generation to generation, and movement and music is its
DAUGHTERS OF THE CANE is an interdisciplinary performance work supported
by scholarly research and film documentation informed by music, dance and folklore of
the Sugar Cane Plantation experience found through out the African Diaspora. Smart,
sharp and smooth, Millicent Johnnie’s DAUGHTERS OF THE CANE will stay with
audiences long after the curtain has come down.
Revolutionary. Healer. State. Public. The Media. How do they function in your
history? In our history? olive Dance Theatre’s BROTHERLY LOVE explores these
five interlocking lenses of society through the dynamic Hip Hop dance form of
Breaking. Inspired by the social and political havoc of the 1970’s confrontation between
The City of Philadelphia and the community-based organization MOVE. Bombs were
dropped, people died in the city of brotherly love. BROTHERLY LOVE departs from
these historical events and delves into the personal and societal heart of change through
protest, violence, tolerance, murder, reconciliation, and growth for you, for me, and for
us. We encourage you to enter what you see with your own stories of revolution.
Photo: olive Dance Theatre
Check out the full line-up of Festival performances at: http://rootsfest2011.org/performances/