Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s professional company returns to live, in-person performance with “A Deeply Rooted Evening for Chicago’s Healing: GOSHEN (preview)” August 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph Street. The performance continues Deeply Rooted’s 25th anniversary season.
With a concept and music by Grammy Award-winning producer, composer, and gospel artist Donald Lawrence (from his album of the same name), GOSHEN features Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, gospel singer Le’Andria Johnson performing the number one single “Deliver Me,” lead singers from the Tri-City Singers, and Zeke Locke & The NuXperience. (see bios below)
“We hope to help heal the city as we gradually end this trying period of COVID-19 ” said Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Artistic Director Nicole Clarke-Springer.
GOSHEN, the Story of the Exodus, is a celebratory collaboration of gospel music, dramatic narrative, and dance-theater rooted in African-American traditions. The work explores historic biblical themes of power, oppression, and deliverance in a joyous contemporary setting, reflecting the soul’s journey through human experience, introspection, and hope. Deeply Rooted Co-Founder and Creative/Executive Director Kevin Iega Jeff directs and choreographs; additional choreographers are Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director Gary Abbott, Artistic Director Nicole-Clarke Springer, Artistic Team member Joshua L. Ishmon, and guest choreographer Tshediso Kabulu.
Award-winning actor, dancer, and singer Valarie Pettiford is 25th Anniversary Season Honorary Chair.
Pamela Crutchfield is 25th Anniversary Season Stakeholder Donor.
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater presents
“A Deeply Rooted Evening for Chicago’s Healing: GOSHEN ”
Wednesday, August 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Chicago.
General admission is FREE; a $25 (or more) contribution provides access
to premium bowl seating; a contribution of $150–$1,000 (or more)
includes premium bowl seating and a post-performance reception.
To make a contribution, visit deeplyrooteddancetheater.org.
All programming is subject to change.
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater
Premiering in 1996, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater reimagines and diversifies the aesthetics of contemporary dance by uniting modern, classical, American, and African-American traditions in dance and storytelling. Through its uncompromising pursuit of excellence, Deeply Rooted demonstrates the transformative power of art and beauty through dance education, performance, and cultural enrichment in Chicago and on the world stage. Deeply Rooted is rooted in traditions of American and African-American dance, storytelling, and universal themes that spark a visceral experience and ignite an emotional response in diverse audiences worldwide. Deeply Rooted collaborates with nationally renowned choreographers, across the spectrum of modern, ballet, and African dance, to reflect contemporary voices
Deeply Rooted’s programs are partially supported by 3Arts, Lester & Hope Abelson Fund of the Chicago Community Trust, Allstate, Alphawood Foundation Chicago, Arts Midwest, The Arts Work Fund and Smart Growth program of the Chicago Community Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks Program, CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Pamela Crutchfield, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Faith-Based Communications, Ginger Farley Charitable Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation, Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation, The Field Foundation of Illinois, The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Gilbert Fund, Irving Harris Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Illinois Humanities, The International Association of Blacks in Dance, The Joyce Foundation, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Driehaus Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, John G. Palfrey and Catherine A. Carter Family Fund, PNC, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, U.S. Bank, and Deeply Rooted Family of Friends.
Special thanks to Athenaeum Theatre, Auditorium Theatre, Ballet Chicago, the Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Chicago Park District, Hyde Park School of Dance, the Reva and David Logan Center, Maywood Fine Arts, St. Benedict the African Church, and the University of Chicago Community Accelerator Program for their partnership and support.
See Deeply Rooted Artistic Team complete bios HERE
Donald Lawrence is a Grammy-winning artist, producer, and songwriter. He has written some of modern gospel’s biggest hits, including five Billboard number one songs. He has worked with the likes of The Clark Sisters, Kirk Franklin, Faith Evans, Stephanie Mills, and Mary J. Blige, among many others. His latest project, GOSHEN, which includes the number one smash hit “Deliver Me, This Is My Exodus” and features the Tri-City Singers, has once again pushed the boundaries of how gospel music is defined.
Le’Andria Johnson is one of gospel’s top voices, known for the 2019 number one single “Deliver Me (This is My Exodus)” with Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers, which also earned her two Stellar Awards in 2020, She won the BET competition Sunday Bestin 2010 and a Grammy Award less than two years later. On tour she joined Lawrence and later best-selling author Iyania Vanzant, and she performed on the 2019 Soul Train Awards, the 4th Annual Black Music Honors special, and the 2020 Super Bowl Gospel Celebration. Her 2017 release Bigger Than Me earned Grammy nominations for Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Performance/Song.
Zeke Locke is an artist, producer, songwriter, and “choirmaster” known for his eclectic style, explosive performances, and unique ability to stoke what he calls a “party on stage.” As founder of the singing group Zeke Locke & The NuXperience, he tours extensively with some of the top names in gospel music. As an internationally acclaimed choir clinician, he is an ambassador for gospel music abroad while teaching contemporary African-American gospel music traditions to international choirs. Zeke Locke & The NuXperience is signed to Tyscot Records with a new project scheduled for release in late 2021.
Tshediso Kabulu was born and raised in Welkom, one of the second largest cities in the Free State province. He is a professional performer, dance educator, creative, and choreographer based in Durban (KwaZulu Natal province, South Africa) and proud founder and director of Afro Urban Dance Junxion, a Durban-based dance company providing prolific contemporary dance training. He started performing arts at a very young age when he worked and participated in various township dance styles with the inclusion of music and drama. He started his first formal dance training in Bloemfontein with Qhubeka Dance Production from 2007 till 2009, then approbared??? to classical contemporary inclusive of Afro-fusion, jazz, and African contemporary and release technique from 2009 till 2011. He has taught and performed in the United Kingdom (London), Zimbabwe, Senegal, and Nigeria, to mention a few places. He uses poetry, indigenous music, and dance as a choreographic device and structure to voice his work, which is influenced by social happenings that bring relevance and authenticity to his work, creating awareness and conversation about socioeconomic occurrences.
Valarie Pettiford is an award-winning actor, dancer, and singer. She earned Tony and Grammy nominations for the hit Broadway musical Fosse and is currently on two television programs: as Emily Mather on Bad Wolf Productions’ A Discovery of Witches, the television adaptation of the All Souls Trilogy, on AMC and BBC America and as Chippy Duncan on The Family Business on BET PLUS. She is familiar to many for her iconic role as Big Dee Dee Thorne on Half & Half. For more information about her illustrious career, visit IMDb and Internet Broadway Database.