“I hope people leave entertained, inspired and to some extent transformed,” says Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Artistic Director Kevin Iega Jeff about the company’s 15th anniversary season finale, “Chicago Women of Song,” on December 9, 2011, at the Harris Theater at Millennium Park. “We have become ambassadors to modern, classical and African-American traditions in dance, as well as to other world-class art forms in Chicago.”
- From Top Left: Carolina Monnerat (Anita O’Day), Carmel Louis (Dinah Washington), Tracey Franklin (Mavis Staples), Chawnta’ Van (Chaka Khan), and Cecelia Jones (Minnie Riperton) Photo by Ken Carl, Costumes by Michael Stein
Deeply Rooted considers “Chicago Women of Song” a tribute to the community and diverse musical heritage that inspire the company’s soul stirring, technically dazzling, internationally acclaimed fusion of dance, movement and voice. The program features world premieres of Chicago Women of Song and Bach’d, along with audience favorites Church of Nations and I Am Deeply Rooted.
The evening particularly highlights seven vocalists born in or associated with the Windy City. The title work evokes moments in the lives of Chaka Khan, Anita O’Day, Minnie Riperton, Mavis Staples and Dinah Washington, concluding with a Jennifer Hudson rendition. Mahalia Jackson’s voice opens I Am Deeply Rooted.
“They show such a rich history,” explains Jeff. “Their voices flow through the legacy of the African America experience, helping us connect to and express our shared values and emotions — almost the soundtrack of our common lives.” Other voices of note will belong to multi-talented Honorary Chair Jasmine Guy, who will welcome the audience and those attending the post-performance reception, and to guest narrator LeeAnn Trotter, representing the event’s media sponsor NBC 5.
Jeff, a co-founder of Deeply Rooted along with Associate Artistic Director Gary Abbott, views “Chicago Women of Song” as a triumph on several levels. “These are challenging economic times. Still, we made it. We have maintained our high level of excellence. I will be so happy to see our dancers on stage for this celebration of what we and our supporters have achieved.”
For tickets to the event, call 312-334-7777 or visit www.HarrisTheaterChicago.org. Further information can be found at www.deeplyrootedproductions.org.