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Local dance company takes audience on a journey in ‘NINE’

On Saturday, April 2, 2022, dance and theater-arts fans will make their way to House of Hope at 752 E 114th Street in Chicago to witness “NINE,” the annual theatrical production turned motion picture produced by Praize Productions, Inc. (PPI), a local nonprofit arts and community mentoring organization. This screening will begin at 7 p.m. CST and run for approximately 2 hours. A VIP reception will be held at 6:00 p.m., and doors will officially open at 6:30 p.m.

The company was unable to showcase the production for several years due to COVID-19 restrictions, and the film serves as a stepping stone back to normal for the production company. The first-ever cinematic version of NINE marks PPI’s return to the spotlight. The film is planned to make rounds through the upcoming film festival season, with the premiere on April 2 being an exclusive chance for public viewing.

“We feel so lucky to be able to bring this production to the big screen for the first time,” said PPI director Enneressa Davis of the film. “We can’t thank our audiences and sponsors enough for the aid in bringing NINE back to life,” Davis added.

NINE creatively weaves a story of enlightenment, healing, and growth, and gives space for introspection that will move the audience into a spiritual awakening and more fulfilling reality. This film masterfully weaves dance, music, visual arts, and spoken word to take the audience on a euphoric journey that will give life to a wide array of emotions and ideas. Each storyline taps into the audience’s emotions while hitting on current events and happenings that affect the everyday person. Performed by their youth and young adult ensemble cast, this production will tap into the entire human experience.

PPI performances have often been compared to dance colleagues such as Alvin Ailey and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and past attendees have commented on how the showcase is so moving, that they left with tears in their eyes.

“I believe that art should make people feel, think, and act, in order to make them, and the world around them, better,” said Davis. “To align with the Nina Simone quote, ‘art should reflect the times,’ we are presenting a body of art that is very distinctive and revolutionary in a way that gives this company its own fingerprint amongst its colleagues,” she continued.

On April 2, this dance institution will also present the PPI Pillar Awards. These awards will honor individuals who have achieved a level of excellence from their work and who have committed to the development, growth, and revival of people and communities. Awards will be given to those in the areas of community service, education, health and science, arts and culture, and leadership in faith.

This year’s honorees include:

  • “Field of Education” – Dr. Dionne Champion, Founder of DancExcel Champion Center & Research Scientist
  • “Field of Arts & Humanities”- Randy Duncan, Choreographer & Dance Department Chairman of the Chicago Academy for the Arts
  • “Field of Education & Entrepreneurship”- Angela Grayson, Principal of Bethune Early Childhood Development Center & Author
  • “Field of Faith & Community”- Dr. A. Edward Davis, Jr., Pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church

Tickets to the performance start at $45 and are available for purchase at www.praizeproductions.com. To schedule an interview or in-studio performance, contact Vanessa Abron at [email protected] or 312-480-9050.

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