Festival presents Black dance traditions

Greer Reed is working hard to bring African-American dance tradition to Pittsburgh.

“It’s been a long time since we had a Black dance tradition company to bring here, said Reed, artistic director of dance initiatives at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

Now, with the creation of the Black Dance Festival, Reed is able to fill in a hole that she believes is in the landscape of Pittsburgh dance.

(Photo by Ken Carl)

The Black Dance Festival will feature three nights of inspired movement from Nov. 4-6 at the August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Ave. in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

Performances will be given by Ailey II, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Deeply Rooted, and The August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble.

The groups were chosen by Reed due to their unique dance styles and the relationships she formed with each company.

“I used to dance with Ailey and I’ve been a fan of Rennie Harris. They are rooted in hip-hop and I’m friends with the artistic director of Deeply Rooted,” Jones said.

“Ailey II is honored to perform at the August Wilson Center during the Black Dance Festival in November,” said Artistic Director Sylvia Waters. “August Wilson and Alvin Ailey were both leaders and trailblazers in their respective genres and our 12-member ensemble looks forward to sharing their youthful verve and the Ailey spirit with Pittsburgh audiences, celebrating both Wilson’s and Ailey’s gigantic legacies. It will be a momentous occasion that should not be missed.”

Jones says that the three-day event will appeal to all who attend.

(Tickets for the festival are $25. Call (412) 456-6666 or visit the box office at Theater Square or buy online at www.Cultural­Direct.org. For group discounts call (412) 471-6930. Tickets are also available for purchase at the AWC Box Office, 980 Liberty Ave. or by calling (412) 338-8742.)

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