Crossing over Joel Hall Dancers Take African Music and Dance from the Past to the Present in 'The Crossing'

By Vitello, Barbara | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 8, 2001 | Go to article overview

Crossing over Joel Hall Dancers Take African Music and Dance from the Past to the Present in 'The Crossing'


Vitello, Barbara, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Barbara Vitello Daily Herald Staff Writer

Joel Hall and his dancers have spent the better part of their careers looking forward.

"It takes vision on the part of a person to look ahead of where they are," says the celebrated dancer and choreographer.

But for his company's new piece, "The Crossing," Hall and his colleagues looked to the past.

They looked to history, specifically, the history of black music and dance, to inspire "The Crossing," a piece the Joel Hall Dancers will debut Friday at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

"The Crossing" traces the evolution of African-American song and dance from its origins in Africa to its latest incarnation in America, Hall says. Musically, it incorporates everything from African drumming and field songs to ragtime and blues to funk and house music.

Five choreographers collaborated on the piece, chronicling the journey of music and movement as it "crossed over" from the unconscious into the soul of mainstream America. …

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