Black Rep honors King through the arts

Black Rep honors King through the arts
January 21
00:00 2016
Photo by Todd Luck
Dancers with Positive Image Performing Arts perform.

By Todd Luck

The Chronicle

The N.C. Black Reparatory Company honored Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through the arts on Friday, Jan. 15 at the Arts Council Theatre.

The event celebrates the actual day of King’s birthday every year with a showcase of local talent. The show featured dancing, singing, spoken word and a mime performance. The admission was three non-perishable food items collected for Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina.

Mabel Robinson, retired artistic director of the Black Rep who’s directed the show for years, helped with this year’s showcase.

“We have to keep honoring the icons and the positive leaders and those that have made a great dent in our history,” she said.

Kathryn Mobley, who’s been stage manager of the show in the past and became its producer this year, said it remains a way to highlight the best in the community.

“At a time when our society seems to be only seeing the negative in people of color, this is our opportunity to show the bright light that really exudes not only people of color, but in all people.”

Youth dancers with Positive Image Performing Arts performed “Requiem for a Dream.”  PIPA is among the regulars in the show.

“It’s a great experience because you have a montage of so many different forms of talent from dancing to singing to mime to spoken word, but what brings all that together is the purpose,” said PIPA Director Courtney Porter.

It’s the second year 11-year-old Shandi McDaniel has performed in the showcase. She’s regularly invited to sing at churches and gave an impressive rendition of “Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cook. She said it was an appropriate song for the current struggles of African-Americans.

“We still have issues, people want to judge us, we’re saying that change is going to come,” she said.

Youth dancers from the Pointe! Studio of Dance in Greensboro performed two pieces. It was their first time in the Black Rep’s showcase, but they regularly perform at Martin Luther King celebrations like the MLK parade in Greensboro.

“Artistry is a great way to celebrate,” said The Pointe! Owner Gina Tate.

The most famous performer of the evening was Chris Murrell, a former Count Basie Orchestra singer who currently sings with a band in Switzerland. He regularly performs at events on MLK Day when he’s in town. He sung “Someday We’ll All Be Free” by Donny Hathaway. He said he’s always glad to honor King.

“Dr. King means liberation and respect for all people,” he said.


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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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