The Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project at The University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and 150 Media Stream present Color in Motion, a dance film featuring Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, on view through November 16, 2022 at 150 N Riverside Plaza, a commercial space that showcases the work of local and international artists, bringing art to everyday life.
The exhibition will include an activation on October 14, 2022 from 7–9pm at 150 N Riverside Plaza, including a liveperformance element, and an artist talkback with film creators Princess Mhoon and Nicole Clarke-Springer, moderated byEmily Hooper Lansana, Senior Director of Community Arts at the Logan Center. Space is limited, RSVP here.
The film, choreographed by award-winning director & choreographer Princess Mhoon, with special guest choreography byDeeply Rooted Dance Theater’s artistic director Nicole Clarke-Springer, is a physical exploration of color, capturingvirtuosic dancers as they move through undulating hues and emotions.
This exhibition and activation are a part of 150 Media Stream’s programming at 150 N Riverside Plaza. Curated by YugeZhou, this program presents multimedia art on a unique architectural screen located in the building’s lobby. Consisting of 89 LED blades that ignite into light, color, and movement across a wingspan of 150 feet, this dynamic screen has previouslybeen populated by the work of fiber artist Bisa Butler, dancers from The Joffrey Ballet, and more.
The Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project (CBDLP), developed through a partnership between Logan Center Community Arts at the University of Chicago and the Joyce Foundation’s Culture Program, as well as leaders from each dance company,is a multi-year project that celebrates the historic impact of Chicago-based Black choreographers in the national dance community. This project highlights Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, a member of the CBDLP’s first cohort, and aims to bringattention to the power of Black dance in Chicago and affirm its place in the city’s rich history.
Exhibition on view weekdays from 12–1:30pm & 4:30–10pm and weekends from 1–7pm through November 16, 2022.
An activation, including a live performance accompanying the film, and an artist talkback, will occur on Friday, October 14, 2022, 7–9pm. RSVP here. Tix are free, but limited.
Location: 150 N Riverside Plaza, Chicago IL 60606
About the Collaborators
Princess Mhoon is a choreographer, director, producer, educator, and scholar recognized in 2015 by HUFFINGTON POSTas one of 26 Female Choreographers “You Should Know” and Dance Magazine’s 2006 “Top 25 to Watch.” Mhoon is a secondgeneration artist and entrepreneur who has set her sights on enhancing the artistic landscape of the Nation’s Capital. In 2016she was invited by First Lady Michelle Obama to participate in her Celebration of Black Women in Dance; she also served asa panelist for The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans during Women’s History Monthand was acknowledged by the administration as Black Girl Change Maker. Mhoon is also a 2015 Helen Hayes AwardNominee for Best Choreography in a Musical, a Helen Hayes winner for Best Musical, and one of 37 International artistsinvited to Lusaka, Zambia for solo performance and master classes at the 2015 Barefeet Theatre Festival for vulnerable youth sponsored by UNICEF. She is also a 2016 class member of Leadership Greater Washington (www.lgw.dc.org). With workcommissioned by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the DC Jazz Festival, Princess Mhoon has been called “Avisionary of her generation.” She is the Founder and Director of the Princess Mhoon Dance Institute with locations in DCand Maryland. Mhoon has served on faculty at Howard University, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree inDance and a Master of Arts degree in Public History. Her research focuses on Dance History and the African- Americanexperience in dance. In 2015, she was awarded the Owen Dodson DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI award from her AlmaMater. A native of Chicago, Illinois, she began her training with Alyo Children’s Dance Theatre, Joseph Holmes Dance Studio, and Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago.
Mhoon Cooper has received numerous awards and scholarships for her excellence in dance, including recognition from the American Dance Festival, Dance Magazine, Howard University, Career Transitions for Dancers, and the Kennedy Center forthe Performing Arts. She has performed and toured with the world renowned Ronald K. Brown/Evidence Dance Company, Rennie Harris Puremovement, The Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble, Nathan Trice Rituals, and DeeplyRooted Productions. She is the founder of DANCING FEET, an integrated arts program that includes classes and workshopsfor schools and outreach institutions. She is currently the director of the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project.
About Nicole Clark-Springer
Nicole Clarke-Springer began formal training under the guidance of Claudette Soltis (Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and JolietBallet Society) and the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre under Dace Diodonis. She received her B.S. in arts administration-dancefrom Butler University in Indianapolis, where she was honored as Butler Ballet’s Outstanding Performer. Shortly after graduating from Butler, Clarke- Springer found her dance home within the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater family—first as an apprentice and later as a company member. As a member of DRDT, she had the opportunity to perform with RobertaFlack in Kevin Iega Jeff’s Flack, as well as Jennifer Holiday in the world renowned Penumbra Theatre’s Black Nativity. Shebriefly left the company in 2007 to serve as adjunct professor in Western Kentucky University’s Dance Department. Whilethere, she was asked to join the Clifton Brown Dance Company, performing on its tour to Istanbul, Turkey. The same year, Clarke- Springer returned to the Deeply family as program director of its Summer Dance Intensive. During this time, shebegan deepening her choreographic voice, creating and later setting works including Nine, Dounia, and Femme for the main and second companies. She also served as assistant choreographer to Kevin Iega Jeff for Congo Square Theatre’s Nativityfor two years. In 2013, Clarke- Springer joined Kevin Iega Jeff and Gary Abbott as the newest member of the Deeply RootedArtistic Team and was named Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s Emerging Choreographer for the program “Generations.” Among the critical responses to her work Hadiya were these thoughts from Lynn Colburn Shapiro, See Chicago Dance: “apoignant memorial tribute…filled with…ritualistic gestures [that] carry a ceremonial theme…a living eulogy not only for theslain Hadiya Pendleton, but for all children who have lost their lives to violence.” In August 2015, she traveled with DeeplyRooted to participate in JOMBA! Dance Festival hosted by Flatfoot Dance Company, where she set her ballet Until Lambs Become Lions on the host company. In 2016, Clarke-Springer choreographed the opening number for the nationally syndicated Steve Harvey ShowHalloween Celebration. She teaches and
choreographs throughout the country and has been on faculty as an adjunct professor at Chicago State University and WesternKentucky University and is currently on staff at Northwestern University.
Crediting Deeply Rooted’s mission, Clarke-Springer works to create an environment where artists participate in a process thatis not only spiritually affirming but requires open and honest dialogue that leads to self-reflection, constructive feedback, andaccountability to the work required. She was appointed Artistic Director of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater in September 2019.
About Chicago’s Deeply Rooted Dance Theater
Chicago’s Deeply Rooted Dance Theater is rooted in the traditions of American and African- American dance,storytelling, and universal themes that spark a visceral experience and ignite an emotional response in diverse audiencesworldwide. DRDT collaborates with nationally renowned choreographers, across the spectrum of modern, ballet, andAfrican dance, to reflect contemporary voices.
About the Logan Center for the Arts
Designed as a home for the creative life of the University of Chicago campus and the city of Chicago, the Reva and DavidLogan Center for the Arts is a partner, resource, and catalyst for developing deeper cultural networks and richer creative projects citywide and beyond. Celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2022 and 2023, the Logan Center is a place whereboundaries dissolve and artistic work is amplified through a web of collaborative partners. More than just a building, it is aninnovative hub for arts education for UChicago students and Chicagoland students and families, a platform to showcase today’s most innovative creators across all media, and a locus for impactful and collaborative artistic innovations with partners in nearby South Side communities and across Chicago.
About the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project
Chicago has long been a significant hub of African American arts and culture. Chicago’s Black community has played a defining role in dance history, from imbuing traditional forms with new vibrancy to establishing entirely new forms of urbandance. While Chicago’s Black dance companies are as diverse as the city itself—from dancers to dance styles—they are allunited by the African American heritage on which their work is centered. The Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project, developed through a partnership between Logan Center Community Arts, the Office of Civic Engagement’s CommunityPrograms Accelerator, and leaders from each dance company, is a multi- year project that celebrates the historic impact ofChicago-based Black choreographers in the national
dance community, and strengthens the impact and reach of Black dance for generations to come. A founding grant from the Joyce Foundation’s Culture Program and support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation helped launch thisgroundbreaking project. Selected specifically for the history and impact of their work, Chicago Black Dance Legacy Projectpartners include legacy, next- generation, and arts education dance companies. The eight companies selected for the firstcohort are: Ayodele Drum & Dance, The Chicago Multicultural Dance Company, Deeply Rooted Dance, Forward Momentum Chicago, Joel Hall Dancers & Center, Muntu Dance Theatre, NAJWA Dance Corps, Red Clay Dance Company. A new cohort will be announced soon.
About Yuge Zhou
Yuge Zhou is a Chinese-born, Chicago-based video artist and curator. As an artist, Zhou’s work addresses connections,isolation, and longing across urban and natural environments. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in prominent art and public venues. Her dance film “Love Letters” is currently shown as part of Art on theMART’s fall program, a nightlypublic art projection onto the facade of the Merchandise Mart, Chicago. Recent awards include Juried Award in the installation category at ArtPrize 2021, Artist Fellowship Award in Media Arts from the Illinois Arts Council and Honorary Mention in the 2020 Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. As a curator, she directs the 3300-square-foot 150 Media Stream.In this capacity, she has worked with over forty media artists and cultural institutions to create innovative programming eachmonth that engages a cross- section of diverse communities.
About 150 Media Stream
Located in the lobby of 150 N Riverside Plaza in Chicago, the 150 Media Stream is a public media art installation divided into89 LED blades. It stretches over 150 feet long and reaches 22 feet high, the largest structure of its kind in the city. Launched in2017, the 150 Media Stream showcases commissioned work by emerging and renowned local and international media artistson a monthly basis. The 150 Media Stream Arts Program also includes strategic partnerships with many major culturalinstitutions and university fine arts programs in the city and provides a forum to exhibit and promote their work in a dynamic environment of arts and business.