Local Good News: Collage Dance Collective

MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Robert Caro once said, "ballet is sort of a mystery to me and I don't want to unravel that mystery.”
    
Well, a group of ballerinas from across the country have decided to make Memphis home.
    
They have opened up a contemporary ballet company to bring the art of dance and culture to the Bluff City and provide opportunity to the youth of Memphis.
    
The ballet company was actually co-founded in 2004 by Kevin Thomas, a principal dancer with the legendary dance theatre of Harlem, and Marcellus Harper, a theater and arts producer.
    
There is more.

"When I say I am a dancer, I am a non-verbal communicationist through movement," Daphne Lee of Collage Dance Collective said. "Dance is a way of life.  Dance is a spirituality.  Dance is whatever you want it to be."

Daphne is one of the newest members of Collage Dance in Memphis.

"Dance and culture is essential to being a human being," Lee said.

The company was inspired by the Harlem Ballet Company. That company gave disadvantaged youth training to become world-class dancers by taking them off the streets and teaching dance. Members of the Dance Collage want to do the same thing here in the Bluff City, creating diversity in classical ballet.

"They're not used to seeing strong black women be soft and delicate in ballet or tell emotional history from our past," Lee said. "You're sharing your story. You're learning it all on the stage, and you're entertaining an audience that wants to be moved."

The Collage Dance Collective is located in the new Hallaron Centre For The Performing Arts, right next to the Orpheum Theatre.


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