Black History Month
Protestors for civil rights across the United States in the 1950-60s offered up—and sometimes sacrificed—their bodies for the greater good. By exercising their right to public assembly, under the constant threat of violence at the hands of other civilians and the state, their very bodies were both a threat and were threatened. In protest, the strength of the individual was multiplied by that of the collective; public gatherings formed composite bodies of solidarity against racial discrimination and systematized inequality. In Halt, a new solo dance piece that will premiere at Gallatin, dancer and choreographer Jamar Roberts examines the language of the body in protest. His work will focus on what it means for human beings—the committed individual and the organized collective—to be equally the subjects of progressive change and the targets of unjust corporeal punishment.
The performance will be followed by a Q&A session with Roberts, moderated by Gallatin faculty members Kwami Coleman and Julie Malnig. This event is co-sponsored by NYU Gallatin and the Dance Department, Tisch School of the Arts.
Presented as a part of Gallatin’s Black History Month programming.
Jamar Roberts is a dancer for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. A fellowship student at The Ailey School, Roberts graduated from the New World School of the Arts and trained at the Dance Empire of Miami, where he now teaches. Roberts was a member of Ailey II and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Dance Magazine featured him as one of “25 to Watch” in 2007 and on the magazine’s cover in 2013. He performed in 2010 at The White House and has been a guest star on So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, and The Ellen Degeneres Show. In 2015, he made his Ailey II choreographic debut with his work Gêmeos, which was set to the music of Afrobeat star Fela Kuti. He is currently choreographing his first work for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Members Don’t Get Weary, which premiered during the 2017 New York City Center season. In 2016, Roberts won Outstanding Performer at the New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards and was a guest star with London’s Royal Ballet. He first joined Alvin Ailey in 2002.