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, 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. She performed a classic Katherine Dunham work, Barrelhouse Blues, on the same program seen here. Donald McKayle’s Nocturne received its world premiere at Jacob’s Pillow in 1953 with a cast that included Arthur Mitchell, Joe Nash, and the choreographer himself. McKayle’s final work was performed here by the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble in 2022.
EXPLORE JOHN PERPENER’S MULTI-MEDIA ESSAY ON DONALD McKAYLE