Dance Iquail Starts Black History Month With a Free Event

Black History Month is right around the corner, and to kick it off, Philadelphia and New York-based company Dance Iquail is holding a free panel discussion on February 2 at 6:30 pm, at NYC's Riverside Theatre. The event, titled Black Swan: Solidarity Beyond Colored Pointe Shoes, will look at the stresses faced by black artists, communities and organizations, emphasizing the importance of resilience, and examine how the dance world can best address these issues. Panelists include Karen "KB" Brown, former artistic director of Oakland Ballet; Andrea Long-Naidu, who danced with New York City Ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem; and Iquail Shaheed, artistic director of Dance Iquail.

The event fits in with the company's focus on education and community awareness. They aim to both empower audiences in performance and to offer a positive influence to inner city youth through dance. It is also part of a larger community engagement campaign surrounding Iquail's upcoming work, Black Swan, which explores race, identity and isolation through the experience of the black ballerina, set to the music of Nina Simone. Black Swan premieres in New York February 13-14, and in Philadelphia February 25-27.

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