Thursday, March 17, 2011

Music of William Grant Still in 'Flyin' West' by Ballethnic Dance at Georgia Tech March 17-20, 2011

[Flyin' West by Ballethnic Dance Company, Inc.]

In collaboration with Pearl Cleage, an Atlanta based award winning author and playwright, Ballethnic Dance Company has adapted Ms. Cleage’s play, Flyin’ West, into a full length ballet. The ballet will be performed at Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts March 17-20, 2011.

“Flyin’ West depicts the story of four strong Black women who left the South after slavery and migrated West. It explores the unique challenges they faced as homesteaders and pioneer women while examining the lives of the diverse population who also settled the West during this time. Flyin’ West features Ballethnic’s Co-founder, Waverly Lucas’ signature choreography, which includes dance movements that defy the traditional concepts of classical ballet, while maintaining elegance and technical proficiency.

“The production includes musical scores by William Grant Still, 'the dean' of African-American composers. Still is known for numerous ‘firsts’ as an African-American composer; first to conduct a symphony orchestra; first to have his own symphony and opera performed by major performing companies; and first to have his opera televised over a national network.” [William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at, where a complete Works List by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma is found.]

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