By Claude Jay
On Monday, September 26, at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, 248 W 60th Street, the Broadway Dancing Divas,’ were brought together to talk about their careers, challenges and upcoming projects…… by the organization Artist Collaborating Together (A.C.T.). These talented dancing divas were passionate and serious about their art and dancing, but open and real enough to laugh and have fun through out the evening.
When moderator Erich McMillian-McCall (above photo) ask the Dancing Divas, who inspired you and who do you admire? Their answers included their parents, family, teachers, and dance icons Alvin Alley, Arthur Mitchell, Talley Beatty, Judith Jameson, Twyla Tharp, George Faison and others. Mr. Faison was present and he delighted the audience when he joined Maria Torres in an impromptu dance of the hustle. Also, in the audience was Ken Roberson, Choreographer of the Tony Award Wining, Avenue Q.
The panel discussion reached a high step when a young lady who is currently in rehearsal of a production of, “Ain’t Misbehavin”, asked this accomplished panel of dancers with Broadway credits, when you are in rehearsal and performing a show how do you take care of your voice and sore feet? They responded with out hesitation, it was obvious that they have been there and their years of experience have given them answers. The response included, rest your voice and feet on your day off. If you don’t have to sing or dance full out through out the rehearsals don’t. Learn and know your instrument. It was obvious the dancing divas were happy to share their answers and wealth of experience and the young lady beamed as she received the first hand knowledge from the best!
The Artist Collaborating Together (A.C.T), the organization was created by Randy Davis, Erich McMillan-McCall and Maria Torres to meet the needs of the ever evolving artist, in this tough economy and creative downturn. These veteran artist know all too well about the harsh realities of the business. So they set out to change and meet the needs of artist by designing quality programming for artists taught by artists, intended to inspire and empower artist and at affordable prices. This evening and panel discussion with the Dancing Divas was a very good example of Artist Collaborating Together (A.C.T). You can look forward to panel discussions, workshops and events presented by (A.C.T.).
On Monday, October 3, Artist Collaborating Together (A.C.T.) will present 3 time Tony Winner, Hinton Battle in a conversation and performance of a new song, check out the “conversation and performance” flyer here.
Photo #1, by James Alexander with ‘Dancing Divas’ in order from (L to R): Stephanie Pope-Caffey (FOSSE), Brenda Braxton (CHICAGO), Rosa Arredondo (HARLEM SONG), Rene Monique Brown (COLOR PURPLE), Rosa Curry (JELLY’S LAST JAM), Carolyn Dougherty (MOVIN’ OUT), Karine Plantadit (COME FLY AWAY), Michelle M. Robinson (BLACK AND BLUE), Allyson Tucker-Mitchell (RAGTIME), Lynn Sterling (THE LIFE), Maria Torres (SWING) and Allison Williams-Foster (SWEET CHARITY) and photo #2 by Erich McMillian-McCall.