PHILADANCO kicks off landmark season with special guest Leslie Odom Jr.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- PHILADANCO is kicking off a landmark 50th season with a special guest appearance from Hamilton star and actor Leslie Odom, Jr.

Joan Myers Brown found the dance company 50 years ago and continues to serve as its artistic director.

"I called the concert, this year, 'Genesis'," Myers Brown says. "Because I thought we would go back to the beginning."

The program is a 50th anniversary celebration, interpreting some of PHILADANCO's most iconic performances for a new audience.

"I've selected the choreographers that have been working with my company for years," Myers Brown says.

Like Christopher Huggins' Enemy Behind the Gate.

"Enemy Behind the Gate is a dynamic explosion of choreography and talent," Myers Brown says. "It's about looking out, over your shoulder and making sure that people you trust are really people you can trust."

Love and Pain was choreographed by Milton Myers; PHILADANCO is staging the dance as a tribute to Aretha Franklin with five songs interpreted by five women.

"It's women interpreting their feelings through dance," Myers Brown explains, "You know dancers have to be actresses and actors as well as dancers."

Exotica, a fast-moving work by Ron K. Brown, is also being featured.

"It's a mixture of African Street dancing and modern dance," Myers Brown says. The music is uplifting."

This production marks the first time all four PHILADANCO companies will perform on the Kimmel Center Cultural Campus' stage.

"We're a modern contemporary dance company," Myers Brown says, "I always try to keep the company integrated."

Leslie Odom, Jr.is slated to make a special guest appearance on Oct. 5, a performance that will include a special 50th anniversary VIP reception, honoring Myers Brown.

The Tony Award-winning Hamilton star was a student with PHILADANCO.

"He wanted to help us celebrate, he's been very supportive of PHILADANCO," Myers Brown says.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit PHILADANCO.

"I started a performing company thinking that we would hang around for a year or two and we've been around a long time," Myers Brown says. "I just hope people continue to support the company for the next 50 years."

PHILADANCO | Genesis Tickets
Saturday and Sunday, Oct.5-6
Featuring alumni guest artist Leslie Odom Jr Saturday-only
Merriam Theater
250 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
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