Delaware Art Museum announces new performance The Bridge of Our Roots by choreographer Dara Meredith.WHAT: Premiere Dance Performance, The Bridge of Our Roots WHO: Dara Meredith, Dancer in Residence at Delaware Art Museum WHERE: On-site and Virtual Event WHEN: Thursday, July 1 at 8 pm
On Thursday, July 1 at 8 pm, Dara Meredith’s virtual dance residency at the Delaware Art Museum will culminate with the premiere of The Bridge of Our Roots. The commissioned dance is inspired by the painting Southern Souvenir No. II created by African American modern artist Eldzier Cortor in 1948. Cortor’s painting depicts the disembodied figures of Black women, torn apart physically and stripped of their identities. Meredith’s dance residency has focused on Cortor’s artwork, on loan from the Art Bridges Foundation and on display at the Delaware Art Museum through July.
“The work will delve into the idea that Black bodies, and Black women specifically, have been ostracized, dismantled, separated, and abused; all the while being the backbone and the foundation of continuity for American culture,” said Meredith, describing the dance. “The work showcases the complexity of what Black women in the south have experienced while having to hold the nation on its breast so that it may live and live on.”
The pre-recorded performance will be filmed in Fusco Hall at night with the painting in the background while six dancers, including Meredith, distill the themes and emotional energy of Cortor’s artwork into choreography.
“They will show in movement what you see and feel through the piece,” said Jonathan Whitney of Flux Creative Consulting, which is producing the event. “Meredith’s performance speaks to the experiences of people of color, especially in the wake of police shootings of unarmed Black women. So it only makes sense to elevate this Black female choreographer to respond to artwork that is about Black female bodies.”
Tickets are now available for the dance premiere, which can be viewed on-site or virtually. A limited number of tickets are available to view the pre-recorded 50-minute performance on-site at the Museum with Dara Meredith, at 8 p.m. on July 1. On-site ticketholders will have access to a special gallery talk in front of Southern Souvenir No. II beforehand, and a live discussion with the choreographer following the performance premiere. Alternatively, virtual tickets may be purchased for watching at home via an exclusive link. All ticketholders will have unlimited virtual access to the recorded performance through July 10.
Prior to the performance, Meredith will host an outdoor dance workshop on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 2 pm in the Museum’s Copeland Sculpture Garden.Meredith will teach an excerpt of the commissioned dance she is creating for the Museum. All levels welcome; dancers will wear masks and maintain social distancing.
Sponsors: Support provided by Art Bridges. This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.
About the Delaware Art Museum
For over 100 years, the Museum has served as a primary arts and cultural institution in Delaware. It is alive with experiences, discoveries, and activities to connect people with art and with each other. Originally created in 1912 to honor the renowned illustrator and Wilmington-native, Howard Pyle, the Museum’s collection has grown to over 12,000 works of art in our building and sculpture garden. Also recognized for British Pre-Raphaelite art, the Museum is home to the most comprehensive Pre-Raphaelite collection on display outside of the United Kingdom, and a growing collection of significant contemporary art.
Under the leadership of our Board of Trustees, the Delaware Art Museum is implementing a comprehensive approach to community and civic engagement. This exciting new strategic direction requires that we increase our value and relevance to all audiences. Visit delart.org to for the latest exhibitions, programs, and performances or connect with us via social media.