Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble

Recorded at Jacob's Pillow: 
August 22, 1996

A Denver-based company founded in the early 1970s, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble specializes in works inspired by the African American experience and rooted in Black dance traditions. The repertory includes works by Talley Beatty, Ronald K. Brown, Dianne McIntyre, Donald McKayle, and many other prominent dancemakers. Ms. Parker Robinson is a master teacher, choreographer, and cultural ambassador who was appointed to the National Council on the Arts in 1998 by President Clinton. She performed the work seen here, Barrelhouse Blues, for a tribute to Katherine Dunham at Jacob's Pillow in 2002. Based on the Shimmy from the Florida Gulf Coast, this duet was once described by Dunham as "a beat old woman who goes to a dance to recapture a moment of her lost youth."

Dance Title: Barrelhouse Blues
Choreography: Katherine Dunham (1938)
Music: Jess Stacy
Performers: Cleo Parker Robinson, Randy Brooks