Sacred Spaces: Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and New Orleans Jazz Orchestra at the Opelika Center of Preforming Arts

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Opelika Center for the Performing Arts
1700 Lafayette Pkwy
Opelika, AL 36801
P: 334.749.8105
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Date: November 9th, 2023
Time: 7:30 PM until 9:30 PM

Cleo Parker Robinson knows well about sacred spaces. Her iconic African-American dance ensemble, a 53-year fixture on the cultural scene in Denver, is housed in the historic, former Shorter AME Church building, a structure that replaced the church’s original building burned down by the KKK in 1925. A series of more recent church fires across Louisiana prompted Cleo’s consideration of what our sacred spaces mean to us in our spiritual growth, our gathering together, in seeking comfort, and finding safety. How do we process the violence, and loss when those spaces are taken away? How do we find healing and triumph over the tragedy?

As an acclaimed, Kennedy Center Award-winning choreographer who has collaborated with Maya Angelou and Alvin Ailey, Cleo Parker Robinson has created a masterwork of modern dance to address all these questions, and then commissioned Grammy-winning AdonisRose, Artistic Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, to compose music for the stage that would reflect the story’s wide range of emotions - from fear and consternation, to restoration and celebration of life.

This extraordinary event featuring video, narration, and brilliant costuming, finds its intense energy in joining all the dancers and musicians on stage for the performance. That is, until it all spills out into the audience for its grand, second-line parade finale… Bring your handkerchiefs! 

Purchase a Performance Series Subscription 2023-2024 here. Individual ticket sales will open on or before September 17, 2023.