Cleo Parker Robinson Show Honors Her Father’s Legacy

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Cleo Parker Robinson
Cleo Parker Robinson's tribute to her late father, J.P. Parker, will be performed at DU's Newman Center Oct. 27-29.

Denver choreographer Cleo Parker Robinson credits her late father for filling her childhood home with music, dance and conversation about how to make the United States a place where everyone felt welcome. Her father's legacy is the backdrop for her upcoming show, "My Father's House."

J.P. Parker was an actor, musician, technical director and community activist. Robinson told Colorado Matters that as a black man, especially one married to a white woman, her father often faced discrimination. But, she said, he did his part to fight it, including training women to become technical directors at a time when it was largely an all-male field. Cleo Parker Robinson father J.P. Parker

"My Father's House" includes one of Robinson's older works, "Spiritual Suite," and two new dances, "Copacetic" and "Catharsis." She said the expression "everything is copacetic" was a favorite of her father, who used it to refer to stressful and joyful situations during his life.

The show will be performed this Saturday and Sunday at the Newman Center at the University of Denver , where J.P. Parker served as facilities director from the time it was built, in 2002, until his death.