Photo by Travis Taber
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 2013, Bazemore presented her solo work Loss: Loving Into Life at the American Dance Festival. 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 DanceVisions Resident Artist at the Performance Garage.
Dawn Marie Bazemore #dbdanceproject
Friday, April 19, 2019
Saturday, April 20, 2019
2:00 pm & 7:00 pm
$20 General Admission
$15 Students and Dance Professionals
Dawn Marie BazemoreI#dbdanceproject will present the premiere of Letters and a restaging of the acclaimed The Browder Project.
DanceVisions is a comprehensive residency for a Philadelphia choreographer, and includes a stipend, access to rehearsal space, support from administrative staff, and a concert season.
Friday's performance will include a post-performance discussion with Akeem Browder, the brother of Kalief Browder and representative of the Kalief Browder Foundation.
For more information contact:
Paige at firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters is a collaborative project that examines Dawn Marie Bazemore's concerns about fragmented relationships, profound loss and the socio-political tone within American culture. Along with her collective #dbdanceproject, composer Jeff Story, set designer Dirk Durossette, and lighting designer Nick Kolin, Bazemore builds from a series of letters she penned to people she has never met or who no longer have a presence in her life. The list includes her birth father,
adopted father, the President of the United States, Trayvon Martin’s parents, and God. The writing is intimate and addresses her frustrations with mourning the death of a father she has never known, raising African American sons in a country that devalues their lives, and questioning the principles of faith. Through a personal lens, the work creates opportunities for
the audience to be immersed in current and pressing conversations, and at times, welcomes their active participation, providing space for their stories to also be heard. Letters looks to the future, searching for ways to forgive and heal.
About The Browder Project
When Kalief Browder was 16 he was arrested in New York for allegedly stealing a backpack. The arresting officers told him he would be home in a few hours...he waited three years. Kalief missed his high school prom and graduation and endured countless beatings in the gang-ridden Rikers Island juvenile facility. He spent the majority of his prison term in solitary confinement where he was starved, assaulted and taunted by the corrections officers. Without access to the necessary funds for bail or a private attorney, Kalief was forced to spend three years in prison waiting for his trial to begin. He was offered freedom on numerous occasions but the price--admitting guilt-- was too much for him to pay. After ultimately being released without ever being convicted, Kalief struggled with mental instability, severe PTSD, and spiraled into a deep sea of pain and paranoia, which ultimately ended in his untimely death by suicide at the age of 22.
The Browder Project is a collaborative dance work inspired by Kalief Browder’s story and his will to remain true to himself despite his devastating circumstances. The piece explores the inherent racial bias that exists in our criminal justice system as well as the catastrophic mental effects of solitary confinement. In an effort to use art to advocate for social justice, Dawn Marie Bazemore’s dbdanceproject aims to use The Browder Project to increase awareness of Kalief’s story and prevent this mishandling of justice from destroying the lives of any more young black men.