Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble

(Photo: Courtesy of Stan Obert)

"Uhuru" is an excerpt of "Madiba's River," choreographed by artistic director Cleo Parker Robinson. The dance is performanced by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble company members Chloe-Grant Abel, Brianna Anderson, Ralaya Goshea, Saidiya Imari and Roxanne Young. The music is “Nkoyane Kandaba” by Hugh Masekela.

Artist Statement

In celebration of the remarkable life of the late Nelson Mandela, I premiered a new work entitled "Madiba's River" in February 2014. One of the many sections of the ballet is a passage called "Uhuru," meaning unify. The passage is performed by the women of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. Rhythms of the dancers' hands and feet counter balance the intricate and lively beats of Masekela's blissful song to make this segment perfect for a listening audience. The female dancers also vocalize the vibrancy of their movements with thunderous cries of jubilation.

The passage is a joyful celebration of life, blending elements of modern dance with traditional movements of South African dance.