The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble’s 47th Anniversary Season continues with My Father’s House, featuring both critically acclaimed signature works from Spiritual Suite and the world premiere of two new works, Copacetic and Catharsis, at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts’ Gates Hall on the University of Denver Campus, 2344 East Iliff Avenue, Denver. Only three performances are offered Friday October 27 and Saturday October 28 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday October 29, 2017 at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at Newmantix.com or by calling 303.871.7720. Ticket Prices: Single Adult tickets $45.00; Seniors 62 and above $38.00; Children 12 and under/Youth 13 to 18; Students $35.00. Corporate/group ticket pricing is available, and student group attendance scholarships are also available by contacting Mary Hart at 303.295.1759, x.20.
My Father’s House reflects legacy and renewal, honoring Cleo Parker Robinson’s father, Jonathan “JP” Parker (musician, actor, technical director, and activist) who served for many years as Facilities Director at the Newman since its inception.
“There was a spirit in our house, in my father’s house, that he shared with all of us, with us four children, with children we adopted. Our own home was always filled with joy. We all learned to dance, we sang, played, and we had critical thinking about how we were going to change this country so it becomes wonderful for everyone. For Daddy, it was not only his house no matter what he managed, (the Bonfils, Houston Fine Arts Center at Colorado Women’s College, or the Newman, or our own home), he ensured that there was room for everyone in his house,” said Parker Robinson.
With only three performances, My Father’s House will offer two premieres. The first, Copacetic, created by Parker Robinson, is in remembrance of one of her father’s favorite sayings. “Everything is copacetic,” is the philosophy he applied to a myriad of both stressful and joyful situations throughout his life. The second, Catharsis by Garfield Lemonius, is set to the evocative music of Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang, Italian composer Ezio Bosso, and Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, and addresses how each of us must come to terms with our emotional state, with a return to a neutral self through moments of release.
Also presented will be the legacy work Spiritual Suite, considered by many to be Cleo Parker Robinson’s master work. A powerful and critically acclaimed ballet rooted in the traditions of African-American spirituals, offering profound portraits of joy and sorrow, despair and triumph, Spiritual Suite was inspired by the early childhood years Ms. Parker Robinson experienced in the gospel church in Dallas, Tex., and is dedicated to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This performance of the suite will feature the Jonathan Parker Legacy Choir and Community Singers, along with Denver’s First Lady Mary Louise Lee and gospel vocalist David Sweet, under the musical direction of Daryl J. Walker.