Christopher A. Walker, Assistant Professor of Dance in the UW-Madison School of Dance and Artistic Director for First Wave, Office of Muilticultural Arts Initiatives, will present a full evening collaborative work with the UW-Madrigal Singers on April 19 at 8 p.m. and April 20 at 4 p.m. in Mills Concert Hall. The work “CREDO” raises questions about exclusivity in organized spaces of worship.
The program structure and the music follow the Catholic Mass arc and span three centuries, while the movement and poetry remain a contemporary expression of faith-based challenges. Separation based on interpretation and belief as well as manipulations of the basic human need to commune create exclusive spaces where not all are welcomed at “the table”. What is the church’s role? What is the next step when the church has done its job?
Walker serves as artistic director and choreographer, collaborating in large parts with the dancers in the UW Madison Dance Department, as well as directing movement and action work for staging the singers and poets. Jermaine Rowe, former dancer with the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the recently closed Broadway Production “Fela”, will be performing the penultimate section “Onward”.
The musical director and conductor is Dr. Bruce Gladstone, director of the UW Madrigal Singers, who has arranged a selection of music that speaks to the historic needs of the project as well as its contemporary artistic visions. Dr. Gladstone will be conducting and playing against the lead poet as storyteller. The director of poetry is Danez Smith, current Madison adult slam champion as well as Academic and Artistic Advisor for the First Wave Program. Danez is responsible for the poetry and for facilitating the writing of other First Wave Scholars in the project.
The concert is free and open to the public and will be in Mills Concert Hall in the Humanities building on April 19 at 8 p.m. and April 20 at 4 p.m.