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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

GRAND PARK TO HOST “RockaYourSoul: LA’s Celebration of Gospel, Dance and Ailey”

March 12, 2013

-Major Festival Salutes Alvin Ailey® American Dance Theater and African American Cultural Traditions-

LOS ANGELES, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — In anticipation of the upcoming Los Angeles engagement of Alvin Ailey(®)( )American Dance Theater, The Music Center announced it will present RockaYourSoul: LA’s Celebration of Gospel, Dance and Ailey, a free, multi-dimensional cultural experience inspired by the rich heritage of the African American community, which lets visitors of all ages engage directly with dance, music and the arts. The first-of-its-kind festival takes place on Saturday, April 6, 2013, from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles from Grand Avenue to Hill Street (Blocks One and Two of the park). Alvin Ailey fans and novices alike will learn from Ailey teaching artists, and then join together in a grand participatory public celebration of Ailey’s seminal work, Revelations, on the park’s Event Lawn. In addition, visitors will also enjoy a range of other activities, including musical performances by some of Los Angeles’ renown gospel choirs, storytelling as well as visual arts and singing workshops.

Revelations celebrates the timeless and universal themes of determination, hope and transcendence, which makes it an amazing centerpiece for a community festival,” said Ming Ng, director of programming for The Music Center. “Whether you like to dance, sing or create your own art, RockaYourSoul: LA’s Celebration of Gospel, Dance and Ailey will give you the opportunity to express your creativity in ways that rock your soul.”

The event features a host of accomplished performers and teaching artists who will lead dance, singing and arts workshops. Highly acclaimed Ailey teaching artists, including Renee Robinson, who was a member of the Company for more than 30 years, and Nasha Thomas-Schmitt, master teacher and former Ailey principal dancer, will teach the distinctive movements of three of the most well-known pieces from Revelations, including “RockaMySoul,” “Wade in the Water” and “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel.” Capitalizing on the beauty of Grand Park’s historic Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain, “Wade in the Water” will be taught right in the water in the fountain’s splash pad.

The festival also includes musical performances from some of the community’s most respected youth and adult gospel choirs, including the Spirit Chorale of Los Angeles and the L.A. Inner City Mass Choir. In a salute to the African American storytelling tradition, storyteller Victoria Burnett will weave together story and music in a special presentation. Do-it-yourself art-making lovers will appreciate two Ailey-inspired visual arts workshops, including strip quilting and fan making, taught by Music Center Master Teaching Artists Alvaro Asturias and Joan Marie Harrison.

In what is anticipated to be a highly powerful moment, visitors will come together at 4:00 p.m. to share what they have learned during the afternoon’s workshops in the largest-ever public celebration of Revelations.

“I am excited that Alvin Ailey’s classic Revelations will be the inspiration for this wonderful festival, which gives the community creative ways to connect to the movement, music and elements of a beloved American masterpiece,” said Robert Battle, artistic director, Alvin Ailey(®) American Dance Theater. “It is further tribute to Mr. Ailey’s heritage and his genius, as well as a fitting prelude to our upcoming performances at The Music Center, where Ailey’s amazing dancers will reach audiences with a joyous celebration of the human spirit.”

Visitors will also enjoy food provided by a number of popular food trucks.

While the festival is free, guests must register to participate in both the quilt and fan-making workshops by visiting http://www.musiccenter.org/rocka . No experience necessary and no registration required for the dance and singing workshops. For more information about the event, visit http://www.musiccenter.org/rocka or call 213-972-7211.

About The Music Center
A leader at the cultural heart of Los Angeles County, The Music Center brings to life one of the world’s premier arts destinations by creating opportunities for arts participation, enabling compelling programming and providing first-class venues and services. The Music Center is one of the largest and most highly regarded performing arts centers in the country, creating a cultural hub that is central to L.A.’s status as “the creative capital” of the world. Celebrated for its illustrious dance programming Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center and home to four world class resident companies – Center Theatre Group, LA Opera, LA Phil and Los Angeles Master Chorale – The Music Center is the place to experience the most innovative and critically-acclaimed performing arts in the nation. In its effort to extend the reach and accessibility of the performing arts, The Music Center is a national model for experiences in which people participate directly through its Active Arts® at The Music Center. As well, The Music Center presents special productions, events and festivals for children and families, including World City(TM) at The Music Center. Each year, more than one million audience members delight in the excitement of live performances on The Music Center’s stages and enjoy free community arts events all year long across its outdoor campus. The Music Center is also on the forefront of arts education in Los Angeles, providing arts resources to students and teachers in schools and community centers throughout the region. For more information, visit http://www.musiccenter.org and follow The Music Center on Facebook and Twitter (@MusicCenterLA).

About Alvin Ailey(®) American Dance Theater
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” grew from a now?fabled March 1958 performance in New York that changed forever the perception of American dance. Founded by Alvin Ailey, and guided by Judith Jamison beginning in 1989, the Company is now led by Robert Battle, whom Judith Jamison chose to succeed her on July 1, 2011. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 71 countries on 6 continents, promoting the uniqueness of the African?American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance tradition. In addition to being the Principal Dance Company of New York City Center, where its performances have become a year?end tradition, the Ailey company performs annually at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami?Dade County in Miami, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley, CA and at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark where it is the Principal Resident Affiliate), and appears frequently in other major theaters throughout the United States and the world during extensive yearly tours. The Ailey organization also includes Ailey II (1974), a second performing company of emerging young dancers and innovative choreographers; The Ailey School (1969), one of the most extensive dance training programs in the world; Ailey Arts in Education & Community Programs, which brings dance into the classrooms, communities and lives of people of all ages; and The Ailey Extension (2005), a program offering dance and fitness classes to the general public, which began with the opening of Ailey’s permanent home–the largest building dedicated to dance in New York City, the dance capital of the world –named The Joan Weill Center for Dance, at 55th Street at 9th Avenue in New York City. For more information, visit http://www.alvinailey.org

CALENDAR INFORMATION

RockaYourSoul: LA’s Celebration of Gospel, Dance and Ailey
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Activities take place from Grand Avenue to Hill Street
Free event
Sign up in advance to participate in quilt-making and fan-making workshops at http://www.musiccenter.org/rocka

    Schedule of Activities*

    Quilt-making workshops                1:00 - 4:30
                                          p.m.

    Fan-making workshops                  1:00 - 4:30
                                          p.m.

    Revelations 20-minute dance           2:40 - 4:00
     workshops                            p.m.

    Musical performances (gospel          1:15 - 2:30
     choirs)                              p.m.

    Storyteller presentation              2:40 - 3:00
                                          p.m.

    Singing workshops                     3:10 - 4:00
                                          p.m.

    Largest-ever community Revelations    4:00 - 4:30
     celebration                          p.m.

    Open dancing                          4:30 - 5:00
                                          p.m.
    *Schedule subject to change

SOURCE The Music Center


Source: PR Newswire