Consuelo Baraka (formerly of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) and me inside Joy of Movement Center/Cambridge, Massachusetts, late 70s
Jude G. Barucha and me inside Joy of Movement Center/Cambridge, Massachusetts, late 70s
Working out movement ideas in a studio at Joy of Movement Center.
Teaching a Modern/Jazz/Blues class at Joy of Movement Center.
Members of the original Dance Theater of Harlem (1970) posed outside the door to the old Church of The Master, which is located at 122nd Street & Morningside Avenue in New York City. I am the second male dancer on the left from the female dancer, Patricia Ricketts, standing at the center of the formation.
This photo was taken at JFK Airport in New York City before Dance Theater of Harlem departed for Rome, Italy/July 1971.
Walking with Susan Lovell in Spoleto, Italy. In the summer of 1971, Dance Theater of Harlem performed in Gian Carlo Menotti’s Festival dei Due Mondi, the month of July, during its first European tour. The photographer is Dr. Herman Jones of New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Dance Theater of Harlem female dancers in “Rhythmtron”
I joined AAADT in the fall of 1971. I am the first dancer on the left from the apex of this formation.
“Time Out of Mind” Choreographed by Brtian McDonald. I am the male dancer on the left.
Taken either by Nan Saville or Alan Vaughan, two friends, inside their unfurnished apartment in the West Village, NYC. Circa 1972 (?).
Striking a pose inside one of Boston Repertory Ballet’s studios. 1979.
A studio shot of my partner, Tomoko Imanaka, and me in Kyoto, Japan. 1982.
This photo and the following six photos of my solo were taken during the first performance of “Soul House” in Osaka, Japan. The choreographer is Tadashi Watanabi. The photographer is Adjuma (?).
This is the final movement of the solo: I rose up on half toe, then relaxed down to the floor and dropped my arms in resignation. The music and choreography expressed what was going on in my life at the time perfectly. I had been homeless in Manhattan for three months, living in shelters, before I flew to Japan . And before I became one of Manhattan’s homeless males, I had experienced a very good success dancing in a two-week series of performances, in Theater Four, titled “Negro Ensemble Theater Presents The Classics of Black Dance”. Deborah Jowett, dance critic for The Village Voice, wrote in her review of my dancing that I had star quality. So, the loss of personal independence, my public sense of self, and a roof over my head paralleled the quality and the depth of loss that O.V. Wright sings about in the music. Fate was cruel to me, too! But there was a blessing woven into the fabric of my sorrow. While living in an abandoned school house in Brooklyn and an Army barrack in the Bronx, I was able to reconnect with the human being I was on April 10, 1969 when I flew to Manhattan to join Dance Theater of Harlem. Everything that I had been aspiring to do onstage since 1969 happened effortlessly in Japan. The more I danced in the rehearsals—which started at 10 PM sometimes, and I loved it!—the more energy I had. I was in full possession of my instrument and I gave the people in Osaka and in Tokyo supreme emotion, artistry, flow, technique, and musicality. The experience I had dancing in Japan washed my soul and restored belief in my capacity to make it as a human being, and in my talent for dance.
My solo was choreographed to the standard “Today I Sing The Blues”, recorded by the late O. V. Wright.
Thanks for the soulful and melodic air, Brother Wright. Rest In Power
A rehearsal photo of the Snow Queen and King duet in “Nutcracker”, taken inside Lo Studio, December 1991, in Torino, Italy . My partner is Ena Naranjo (Cuban-American). The photographer is Maurizio Laurenti.
A performance photo of the Snow Queen and King duet.
I participated in the second Bay Area presentation of Men’s Story Project, on campus at UC Berkeley/California in the spring of 2009. I am in the bottom row, third from the right, wearing glasses.
Folawole Oyinlola (Nigeria) and I danced this duet at UC Berkeley in 2009. Fola, the younger male, is experiencing an emotional impasse. I, the older male wearing the black hat, offers him advice and support, which enables him to see his way through and, eventually, out of the situation.
This photo of the duet was taken during a performance at Dance Mission Theater/San Francisco, in January 2011.
“Icarus Rising” was choreographed by Enrico Labayen and danced at Dance Mission Theater, in January 2011. It is an updated telling of the Greek myth of Icarus with an all-male cast. The other dancer is Victor Talledos. He and the choreographer shared the role of Icarus.
Icarus is danced by Enrico Labayen (center), David Chase (on the left as the father, and me as the Sun.
My first selfie. Taken in 2019/Brookhaven, Georgia.
Me at age 20: Jacob’s Pillow University of Dance in Lee, Massachusetts; the township of Becket/summer of 1968