In its first single-billed show, RudduR Dance showcases works designed to break the visible and invisible chains that bind.
RudduR Dance is bringing back dance to Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture’s Main Stage with an evening of excitement and flight. Led by Jamaican born Christopher Rudd - formerly of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Cirque du Soleil, and Carolina Ballet - the Company blends contemporary ballet with theatricality and aerial artistry to create provocative experiences that address timely social and political issues.
In its first single-billed performance, Empowered, RudduR Dance will showcase the world premiere of Witness: Part I - Yesterday, along with audience favorites The Place Between, A Night in the Life of Us, and Doubt of the Devout. From the physical to the spiritual, Empowered is about breaking visible and invisible chains that bind, and moving to greater strength. The dancers move through aerial silk, bungee restraints, shackles, and violent embraces to free themselves and allow for transcendence. The result is bold, high energy performances that pull in audiences.
Witness: Part I - Yesterday is the first of a three-part exploration of historic and current race relations. This first section blends contemporary ballet, traditional African dance, and aerial bungee, to portray shackled male and female dancers with limited mobility. Their subtle movements use the space to depict the hardships of captivity and the fierce attempts to flee, as the bungee pulls the dancers back into enslavement. At the invitation of internationally acclaimed Vendetta Mathea, Witness was originally developed in Aurillac, France.
Starting with a powerful solo, Doubt of the Devout exhibits a woman struggling with an issue that causes her to question her faith in a higher power, while A Night in the Life of Us is an erotically charged encounter between a man and a woman. The Place Between takes to the air in an aerial silk contemporary ballet depicting the final moments of a woman’s life, and her male partner’s grief.
Based in New York City, RudduR Dance is an artistic think tank that strategically addresses social issues through dance. At RudduR Dance, we are committed to bettering the world with dance. Our mission is to use contemporary ballet and theatricality to create performances reflective of society. RudduR Dance investigates themes of the human condition and emphasizes in its works that which unites us. We seek to augment an awareness of and appreciation for American dance and culture by presenting original works both nationally and internationally. Also, RudduR Dance aims to enhance the role of concert dance in society generally, and within the African American communities particularly.
RudduR Dance has engaged over 250,000 people since its founding in 2015. The Company has presented works in four boroughs of New York City: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. Further, the Company has performed nationally in Texas, Utah, and Florida and internationally in France and Trinidad & Tobago. Most recently, the U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso, World Learning, and Arts Envoy -- a Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State -- supported the Company with a two-city tour to Burkina Faso, West Africa. As proclaimed by the U. S. Embassy Burkina Faso, “RudduR Dance is more than just a dance company.”
We have a goal of $55, 000 so we can present Empowered. That includes creating and presenting Witness: Part I - Yesterday, paying for the equipment, our artist, collaborators, and paying for our costumes, and props. We hope to based on the impact of this work to garner the support to create Witness. However, the stretch goal of $150,000 is to create and present Witness: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Incorporating film and an original score, Witness travels with the audience through time showing the mistreatment of Blacks and the journey towards equality. Witness is a call to action and a new way to begin to talk about race in America.
Four African-American collaborators, whose diverse perspectives and artistic voices strengthen the work:
- Film director Ty Hodges, an award winning emergent voice in the film industry;
- Composer Tariq Al-Sabir, an award winning, esteemed alumnus of Peabody;
- Visual effects supervisor Everton Rudd, MA, a recent graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) who is a Look Development freelancer in the Savannah film industry;
- Costume designer Essence Mitchell, an emerging fashion designer currently enrolled at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
Witness uses sampling, recordings, projections and dance to show how the experiences of our past shaped our present.
RudduR Dance is a fiscally sponsored organization through Miami Dance Futures. Donations of $25 and up are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. The value of your deduction will be reduced by any tangible benefits you receive. Miami Dance Futures, Inc. is dedicated to the support and growth of dance in Florida. "We encourage, promote, and assist young Florida artists by providing administrative, financial and technical support, commissioning new cross cultural artistic works, advocating and sponsoring educational conferences and developing new projects through cooperative ventures and innovative management. We provide opportunities for outstanding Florida artists to continue through this difficult financial and artistically troubled time to continue to make contributions to their communities."
RudduR Dance has been supported by The New World School of the Arts Alumni Foundation, Career Transition For Dancers, STREB’s GO! Emerging Artists Commissioning Program, American Dance Abroad, Dance Gallery Festival, Arts Envoy, World Learning, and The US Embassy Burkina Faso.
RudduR Dance’s performance and residency at Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture is part of the CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI), a residency program that opens the doors of CUNY campuses to professional choreographers and dance companies. CDI receives major support from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and the Harkness Foundation for Dance. CDI is spearheaded and administered by the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College. www.cuny.edu/danceinitiative
Risks and challenges
Some might look at the ambition and goals of RudduR Dance and think the Company is not yet ready. However, as a director and choreographer, Christopher Rudd has dealt with many of the pitfalls of creating, presenting, and touring concert dance both nationally and abroad. At this critical time in the presentation of Empowered, the creation of Witness as a whole, and for the evolution of RudduR Dance, lack of financial support is THE greatest challenge. We urge you to look at the scale in which Christopher plans and executes said plans. He credits his experience in the dance world and his “build it and they will come attitude” for the success of RudduR Dance thus far.
The last time RudduR Dance used this platform to ask for support, there was an unforeseen terrorist attack that delayed our travel by 1 year. Originally, the Company was meant to spend 7 days with 4 artists in 1 city in Burkina Faso. We, in fact, went for 23 days, with 8 artists in 2 cities thanks to the support, trust, and patience of the backers who are credited in the film of the trip that you can watch here: http://www.ruddurdance.com/ne/kickstarter-results/
RudduR Dance prides itself in surpassing the expectations of its backers and welcomes the opportunity to do that again. We’ve assembled an incredible team of advisors, collaborators, and artists to tackle any of the challenges that could arise. RudduR Dance has functioned on an extremely limited budget, reliant on the generosity of our artists. With Empowered, the Company has reached the point where it MUST fairly compensate all involved in bringing its works to fruition. With your contribution, we can accomplish this while bettering the world through dance.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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