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Resident Company PHILADANCO partners with the International Association of Blacks in Dance to host the 32nd Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance

Dance history is being made in Philadelphia!

Posted by:  Kimmel Center Cultural Campus on January 15, 2020

Congratulations to Kimmel Center Cultural Campus Resident Company, PHILADANCO, celebrating its 50th anniversary and continuing its work to present, in partnership with the International Association of Blacks in Dance, the 32nd Annual International Conference and Festival of Blacks in Dance, January 14-19 here in Philadelphia. Here are 10 fast facts to get you up-to-speed and make you #PhillyProud!

1. The purpose of this conference? To highlight and validate the significant contributions, connections, and influence that dance by people of African ancestry or origin have on the American and International cultural landscapes.

2. When did this conference begin? The idea began with an individual, Joan Myers Brown, Founder/ Executive Artistic Director of PHILADANCO!, who called together like-minded visionaries to meet a need–thus, the birth of The International Association of Blacks in Dance, Inc (IABD) 

Joan Myers Brown, Founder/ Executive Artistic Director of PHILADANCO!

3. Is there a theme this year? THEN NOW NEXT. Looking at Black dance THEN, championing the narrative NOW, and cultivating opportunities for what is NEXT.

4. Where will it take place? Philly’s Bellevue, Cambria, DoubleTree, Holiday Inn, Hotels, The Kimmel Center and our Merriam Theater, The Rock School for Dance Education, and The University of the Arts

5.What is special about this year? This year’s highlighted activity–four performances over four days, bringing over 40 dance companies together on one stage.

6.Who will be in attendance? Answer: the who’s who of the international dance world! On Saturday, January 18, the Merriam Theater will provide the backdrop for the pièce de résistance of the performances and the culmination of the 2020 Performance Presentations: IABD’s five internationally-renowned founding companies – Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Lula Washington Dance Theatre and Philadanco!, The Philadelphia Dance Company – will perform, along with acclaimed special guests, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company and Urban Bush Women.

7. Are there classes? This year’s conference and festival will also feature IABD’s on the 1 | dance class series. This program presents world renowned dance faculty and celebrated instructors who work professionally in various aspects of the industry for three days of technical training and innovative methodologies. on the 1 | philadelphia will feature 63 international teaching artists, 90 dance classes at the University of the Arts. Classes are $25/class for IABD members and $35/class for non-members. Some faculty members include, Chris Grant, Anthony Burrell, Jason Samuel Smith, Dormeisha, Ronald K Brown, Christopher Huggins, Ray Mercer & more.

8. Tell me about the awards ceremony: IABD will host an Awards Celebration during the Founders and Invited Guests Performance, Saturday, January 18, 2020, at the Merriam Theater, honoring the contributions of five treasured Honorees, all whose timeless work has maintained the integrity and brilliance of Blacks in dance and the City of Philadelphia.

    1. Ronne Arnold will receive the International Acclaim Legendary Artist Award
    2. Marian Godfrey will receive the Reginald Van Lee Outstanding Philanthropy Award
    3. Kavin T. Grant will be awarded the IABD Inspirational Artist Award, posthumously,
    4. Derrick Minter will receive the IABD Inspirational Artist Award, posthumously
    5. Dr. Glory Van Scott will be awarded the IABD Scholar Award

9. Can I audition during this conference? IABD will host its Ballet Auditions for Women and Men of Color January 18- 19, 2020. Opportunities for scholarship dollars to summer intensives and collegiate programs are made possible to IABD members through the Youth and Artists Summer Intensive Scholarship auditions. On Sunday, January 19th, the Multi-Company Dance audition is open to the public and IABD members, providing dancers an invaluable opportunity to audition for positions in companies around the world. There are more than $500,000 in scholarship, tuition and professional development opportunities to be awarded!

10. How do I find out more? Visit

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