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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble gives powerful performance

Courtesy of cleoparkerdance.org/
Courtesy of cleoparkerdance.org/

The word “dance” makes many people think of beautiful tutus or pink point shoes. Some think of breakdancing or salsa or one of a number of dance forms.

Dance is one of the most universally understood forms of art in the world. Some cultures even use it as a way to express feelings about different issues, sort of like a language.

The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, who recently performed at Colorado State University-Pueblo, used forms of dance and movement as way to celebrate and teach their audience about Black History Month and important issues in the Black community.

According to its website, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance is a Denver-based cultural arts institution that has been around since the 1970s. Its programs bring together a myriad of people from every gender, race, age and ethnicity to form a cross-cultural community through artistic dance. They are one of the largest arts institutions in the Rocky Mountain region.

The CPRDE show at CSU-Pueblo began with a performer’s voice, describing to the audience what the theme of the show would be, as well as some of his own points of view.  He described how talking to prominent people in the Black community, such as political activist Angela Davis and Malcolm X’s wife Betty Shabazz, impacted him profoundly.

Following his introduction the four performers proceeded to dance a beautiful mixture of ballet, modern and hip-hop dance styles. The performers also incorporated spoken-word ballads into their choreography.

One of the performers, Chris Page, explained how important he felt the art piece was.

“This is a piece that needs to be shown right now,” Page said. “Especially with all that’s going on with America’s political system and justice system, there’s a lot that’s going on. There’s a lot of change and a lot of movement that’s happening. It seems like the way we presented this piece is very timely for what’s going on in America and all over the world.”

The dancers performed their movements while passionately speaking their ballads about issues such as civil rights. There was a large projector in the background displaying prominent historical images that are important to the Black community.

Senior Cole Gilmore said he thought the over-all message of the show was very positive.

“I thought the show was good. It was very appropriate for Black History Month. It was not only entertaining but informative, and the message was powerful,” Gilmore said. “I would definitely enjoy seeing the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Troupe again at some point.”

The Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble performs all over the world and those interested in their work can visit their website at www.cleoparkerdance.org.

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