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Taking the Ride: An Interview with Dawn Marie Bazemore

April 15, 2019

"My connection to each work that I have made is deeply personal. I am a mother. I have two boys and a girl. Up until this new work, my work has been specifically about black men in this country, because I am raising two black men, and that is how I connect to these stories. When I created A Movement for Five, about The Central Park Five, I was watching the documentary by Ken Burns called The Central Park Five with my eldest son. I grew up in New York when that was happening in real time, and also watching my son watch that … understanding who he is in this country in relationship to his peers, who are not black, was an interesting experience for me."

written by Amelia Rose Estrada

Dawn Marie Bazemore creates socio-political work of substance

April 20, 2019

"With The Browder Project, Bazemore truly exhibits her strength as a choreographer and storyteller, evoking emotions, seeking truths, and forcing us to confront our own notions of social justice and a system that has become horribly flawed in America." Steven Weisz, The Dance Journal

Philadanco soars with ‘Philly Style’ premieres by Beyoncé's choreographer, superstar Rennie Harris, and rising-star Dawn Marie Bazemore

April 12, 2019

"If Harris represents great current success, Dawn Marie Bazemore is the future. The former Philadanco dancer is a choreographer on the rise, presenting her third work on the company (there are more opportunities to see her work at the Dance Garage next week). Bazemore’s piece for the Philadanco program, Oshun, is based on Yoruba traditions of western Africa and the goddess that represents the many sides of women." Ellen Dunkel, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Former Philadanco Dancer, Dawn Marie Bazemore named Performance Garage's DanceVisions 2019 Resident Artist

January 07, 2019

The Performance Garage has awarded the 2019 DanceVisions residency to Dawn Marie Bazemore. Bazemore, a former Phildanco dancer whose creative focus is socio-political issues affecting the African American community, will create the world premiere of Letters, a collaborative performance about fragmented relationships and profound loss within American culture.

 

Taking Risks and Showcasing Harsh Realites through the Beauty of Movement, Dance Informa

June 18, 2018

"This piece dealt with the system that falsely prosecuted the “Central Park 5”. In the program notes for this piece was a quote: “You can forgive but you won’t forget. You can’t forget what you lost. No money can ever bring that time back.” (Kharey Wise) This taken collectively with the movement, costuming and lighting, the work absolutely robustly displayed what I saw as the closest possible understanding of what it meant to be in the shoes of 'The Central Park 5.'"  Demetrius Shields 

Philadelphia's Foremost Contemporary Dance Troupe Channels Political Angst, The Village Voice

June 13, 2018

"Much research, thought, and care has gone into the construction of this three-section piece, which opens with eight dancers moving to Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.” Against a green cyclorama, it uses rudimentary but clear and powerful gestures to make its points." Elizabeth Zimmer

O&A NYC Dance Review: Philadanco at the Joyce

June 17, 2018

"This thoughtful and well crafted work was the evening’s true highlight. Set in three movements; which provided an opening statement, conflict and a final resolution. But it is in the totality of the composition that the power of the Bazemore endeavor is truly revealed.Bazemore’s artistic clarity was complemented by courageous moments of stillness, pedestrian transitions and sparse but meaningful gestures. These design elements enhanced the emotional tension and storyline in this powerful abstract narrative work."  Walter Rutledge, O&A NYC Magazine,  June 2018

The Browder Project Takes on the Juvenile Justice System, The Philadelphia Tribune

May 21, 2018

(photo credit: Dave Cimetta) "The dance was an emotional one — performed in hip-hop, modern, ballet and tap movements that showed the anger, depression and paranoia Browder suffered as a victim of prison abuse and years in solitary confinement." Samaria Bailey,

A Movement for Five Touches Audiences Abroad, Dancing Times UK

April 29, 2017

(photo credit: Dwight Bazemore) "A Movement for Five may be rooted in events almost 30 years ago,but as we continue to hear about attitudes towards black men by the police in parts of the U.S., it very much strikes a contemporary chord too."

David Mead 

Danco Burns the Floor with Black Steam, The Dance Journal

April 18, 2017

Bazemore’s four part “Box Out” begins with the exuberant sound of Herbie Hancock’s jazz instrumental ‘Red Clay.’ Jazz music on the dance stage is a rarity, so it was great to hear Herbie Hancock’s jazz orchestral ‘Red Clay in the first section called “The Fellowship.”  The full company in a silhouetted cluster, then in sharp solos, duets and trios in up-tempo angular movement, with dancers characterizing solo lines of the sax player, or a picking up the counterpoints of the piano. William Burden is the soloist in a bow-tie who dances perilously on three cubes and later, is the focus of a more somber scenario unfolds in the next section ‘Strings’ set to a somber vocal by Nina Simone.   Bazemore evokes the intoxicating milieu of the ‘cool’ era, and Anna-Alisa  Belous’ stylish costumes have the men in vests, women in tight nightclub skirts. In “Class Ceiling” the Danco women are suddenly on those cubes for “Glass Ceiling” donning 40s factory garb, flexing their arms like Rosie the Riveter, and attacking the witty mechanical choreography set to a staccato a capella vocal “Jazz for 23 Voices.” The final section is a present day scenario for the full company with a voice over of Nikki Giovanni’s poem “But Since You Finally Asked” that confronts themes of systemic marginalization  and  pervasive racial injustice in America.  “Box Out” episodic structure could be tightened, but it is even more choreographically ambitious that her riveting previous ‘Danco premiere “A Movement for Five.” Lew Whittington

Philadanco's Having our Say Resonates, The Dance Journal

April 20, 2015

(photo credit: Dwight Bazemore) "Bazemore‘s ‘A Movement for Five’ just grabbed the audience by the throat from the start in content and as danced. ‘The Breakdown’ opens with Public Enemy’s anthem “Fight the Power” blaring out depicting the social landscape of the events involving the arrest of the so-called Central Park 5, young black men accused of raping a woman in New York in 1989.

A pulsing crystal sound is heard as the music shifts to a somber soundtrack and the women exit. Bazemore’s middle section ’For Five’ has them dropped to the ground in a series of movements of being dehumanized and handcuffed." Lew Whitington 

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