Sinclair Theatre and Dance will offer a free dance workshop with award-winning choreographer Rodney Veal that culminates in a performance: Free Spirits: From the Mountain Top to the Jazz Hall, a celebration of Martin Luther King and Mary Lou Williams with guest artists Jakari Sherman of Step Afrika! and LaFrae Sci of Lincoln Center Jazz on February 15–16 in Blair Hall Theatre.
Workshop space is limited. Auditions will be held Wednesday, December 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the dance studio, room 2411, on Sinclair's downtown Dayton campus. Audition registration is required and can be done by calling 937-512-2542. All skill levels are sought. Bring a resume and headshot (if available) and be dressed to move comfortably in bare feet. Workshop sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 6–8 p.m. and Saturdays from 1–3 p.m. beginning January 9 through the performances on February 16. Participants should be prepared for nightly rehearsals during tech week February 11–14. There will be two performances on Friday and Saturday, February 15–16 in Blair Hall.
Free Spirits is a collaboration between Sinclair Theatre and Dance and CityFolk. It will be a showcase of local and professional dancers including Step Afrika! and Lincoln Center Jazz. It is the perfect opportunity for local dancers of all ages and skill levels to be involved in a dance extravaganza celebrating culture and diversity in dance while paying tribute to Martin Luther King and Mary Lou Williams.
Rodney Veal is an Independent Choreographer/Interdisciplinary Artist who serves as adjunct faculty for both Stivers School of the Performing Arts and Sinclair Community College. He is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a B.S. in Political Science and Visual Arts and The Ohio State University with an M.F.A in Choreography. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Ohio Dance and as Chair of the Blue Sky Project. Rodney is the recipient of several MCACD grants and fellowships. Several of his works have been performed as a part of the Ohio Dance Festival. He was one of five artists chosen nationwide to participate in the Blue Sky Dayton Project Artist in Residency program held in collaboration with the University of Dayton.
Based in Washington, DC, Step Afrika! completes an annual 50-city tour of colleges and theaters from Maine to Mississippi and is a national model for the use of stepping in education, espousing themes such as teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding. Step Afrika! is a frequent partner of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Washington Performing Arts Society and has graced some of America's most prestigous stages, from the White House to the Lincoln Center in New York City. Visit the Step Afrika! website.
Drummer/composer LaFrae Sci is a founding member of the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls and a faculty member of the Middle School Jazz Academy at Jazz at Lincoln Center. LaFrae has toured, recorded and worked with a myriad of Jazz, Blues, Pop, Rock and Hip-hop artists including Kelis, Il Divo, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Robert Lockwood Jr., Reuben Wilson, David "Fathead" Newman, Pinetop Perkins, Cyndi Lauper, Nancy Sinatra, Irene Cara and Bumblefoot. LaFrae also serves as a Jazz/cultural Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State.