Dawn Marie Bazemore (Choreographer) is a Philadelphia based performer, choreographer and dance educator. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the department of Theatre and Dance at Rowan University and has served as a Master Lecturer/Artist in Residence at The University of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of North Carolina School for the Arts. Dawn Marie was a member of Philadanco from 1998-2009 after which she performed featured roles in The Color Purple (First National Tour) and regional productions of Dreamgirls and All Shook Up. In 2001 she was selected to perform Strange Fruit, choreographed by the late Dr. Pearl Primus, for the Emmy Award winning American Dance Festival documentary Dancing in the Light. This performance is currently on display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Dawn Marie has been commissioned to choreograph A Movement for Five (2015) and Box Out (2017) for Philadanco and has presented her solo work Loss: Loving Into Life (2013) at the American Dance Festival. In 2015 her essay, Dance and Activism: The Practice and Impact of Sociopolitical Concert Dance, was published in the inaugural edition of the online journal The Dancer-Citizen.  A native of Brooklyn, NY, Dawn Marie trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ballet Academy East and the Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn. She is a graduate of the NYC High School of Performing Arts and has earned a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from Hollins University. She was a finalist in the 1994 ARTS Recognition and Talent Search and is a recipient of the Bonnie Pfeifer Evans Educational Scholarship and the Helen Tamiris award for Excellence in Dance. 

The Browder Project


Saturday, May 19 at 7:00 PM


$ 15 General Admission

*Tickets sold at the door will be cash only

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.

“I always believed in standing up for what’s right, and if I had pled guilty, my story would have never been told. I would’ve just been another criminal.”
-Kalief Browder (1993-2015)


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