MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A powerful evening is on tap at the Levitt Shell when New Ballet Ensemble & School and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Big Band presents "Memphis Renaissance: Going on from Here" -- a Collaborating Partner of the National Civil Rights Museum's MLK50 commemoration.
The event is set for Friday, September 22, 7:00 p.m. at the Levitt Shell in Overton Park and features works from great 20th Century composers such as Williams Gr ant Still's classic "Symphony No. 1" (the African-American Symphony,) Duke Ellington's last composition "Three Black Kings," and songs from Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. That music is inspiration for a dance narrative of the human experience -- its highs, lows and hopes for the future -- accompanied by vivid spoken word passages by Steven Fox. Renowned guest artist General Hambrick and Robin Sanders created original choreography, with contributions from New Ballet's Artistic Director Katie Smythe and Dance Program Director Noelia Garcia Carmona.
The Memphis Symphony Big Band will also perform compositions from former Memphians W.C. Handy and Jimmie Lunceford, a legendary bandleader from the 1930's.
This presentation continues the creative alliance between New Ballet Ensemble & School, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and Levitt Shell, that began in 2015 with "Memphis Renaissance + Harlem."
Since 2003, New Ballet Ensemble & School has offered exceptional dance training to Mid-South students regardless of the ability to pay. The Ensemble mounts several major productions annually in Memphis, performs and teaches in area schools, and has performed in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. New Ballet is nationally recognized as a leader in Creative Youth Development, and was honored with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award in 2014.