Alvin Ailey dancer making Philadelphia choreography debut at virtual Annenberg Center performance

March 11th is the world premiere of Redefine US, from the inside OUT, a performance choreographed by Hope Boykin.

"We're really excited to have her and it'll be her and four or five other dancers," explains Chris Gruits, Executive and Artistic Director of the Annenberg Center, who says Boykin has been using her work to address a lot of current events around race and identity, "And so I think this piece is going to be a direct kind of response to that."

Boykin is also a dancer and educator.

"Hope is a really tremendous dance artist. She danced with Alvin Ailey for around 20 years. And prior to that she was dancing with our own, Philadelphia's own Philadanco," Gruits says.

The University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Center's 2021 digital season includes everything from tap dancing to big musical bands and an independent film series.

"The main theme of our season this year during the pandemic has been to really sustain and support the performing arts," Gruits says.

All the performances are live streamed from the Annenberg Center's theater.

"You're seeing an HD level, you know, production, which I think is really fantastic," Gruits says.

Philadelphia-based hip hop company, Rennie Harris Puremovement is also in the lineup, tackling a timely issue.

"The male African American experience," Gruits says, "and when they run into police brutality,"

After each performance, the artists will engage in a virtual Q&A with the audience.

"We're really hoping, obviously, that we can get back into the theaters with everybody," Gruits says, "But in the meantime, we can do this very effectively, and very safely."

University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg Center Spring 2021 Digital Season |Website

Through May 27
Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.