Ok so, most people who know me, know that I have a special reverence in my heart for The New Freedom Theater. This was a place that I grew personally and artistically. I can be extremely shy in some instances, but Freedom theater gave me the skill and confidence to speak in front of large groups, create my own path, and discover the many roads that are available to me as an artist.
The teachers at Freedom have been mentors for me in my professional career, even though it is not arts based, and my educational aspirations. Freedom theater, and the connections I have made there, have always been considered a second family to me.
So when Ms. Diane called me and told me to come out to a dress rehearsal in preparation for their departure to Panama, I had to come out to support.
Back story: Freedom Theater not only promotes artistic development, but is also adamant about making sure it’s African American students are aware of their heritage and ancestry. Back when I was a student at Freedom, they expanded their curriculum to include Vita Saana, a form of African martial arts developed in Philadelphia about 20 years ago. Well this year Mwalimu Taliba and some of her students were blessed with the honor of going to Panama to compete in a competition. When they found out they were affiliated with Freedom Theater, they requested they come as well to participate in a cultural exchange. Freedom decided to showcase some works from it’s repertoire. Among the group was Tap Dance extraordinaire, and my homie, Khalil Munir. <——– Also an extremely talented actor, dancer, and teacher. I actually shot some stills for a documentary he produced about his life. Maybe I’ll share down the road.
Brought my camera along for the ride. This is what transpired. #sidebar I am ABSOLUTELY loving live theater photography. The colors, the movement, the lights, just great!
Anyhoo check the technique… you know the deal. click the pic to enlarge!