FSCJ’s Dance Department to Present Spring Dance Concert Featuring the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble

For Immediate Release: December 17, 2019

Contact: Jill Johnson, (904) 632-5016

FSCJ’s Dance Department to Present Spring Dance Concert Featuring the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) Dance Department, in partnership with Jacksonville University (JU) Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts and Episcopal School of Jacksonville (ESJ) Fine Arts, presents a spectacular evening of modern dance featuring students from FSCJ and JU and by the critically acclaimed Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (CPRDE) of Denver, CO.

The Spring Dance Concert featuring CPRDE will be held on February 21 and 22, 2020, at 7:30 p.m., at the Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts on FSCJ’s South Campus.

The show is a culmination of a year-long collaborative project produced by FSCJ, JU and ESJ. An instructor of dance with FSCJ, Morgan Brown (MFA) has a unique connection to CPRDE as she was a soloist with the company throughout the 1990s. She stayed close to Cleo throughout the years and was the connection that initiated the project in Jacksonville.

Cleo Parker Robinson is dedicated to celebrating the human experience and potential through the arts and education. Her life-long vision of “One Spirit, Many Voices” remains strong and steadfast, expanding to welcome, embrace and sustain all people. Cleo leverages the universal language of dance to honor African American heritage, explore the human condition and offer a transformative experience through physical movement.

“Cleo’s work means so much to me, but so does her generosity and dedication to the history of American Modern Dance,” said Morgan Brown. “Having her come to Jacksonville to work with our students was a life-changing event for them, and to have her professional company return to share the stage with our students during Black History Month is incredibly meaningful.”

The residency began in October of 2019 when she came to set her piece, “Check Cashing Day” on students from FSCJ, JU and ESJ. The piece uses excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and is a powerful statement about the Civil Rights Era. Created in tribute to the rich jazz history of Kansas City and the music of Bobby Watson, Bettye Miller and Milt Abel, the work honors each generation’s voice, speaking the truth of the struggle for equality and justice through the power of music, dance and spoken word. The students begin the piece by singing, “We Shall Overcome, TODAY!”.

“Even 50 years after Dr. King spoke of the importance of jazz in his opening address to the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival, we are reminded that the struggle has been paid for, time and time again, and that it’s up to each generation to make the dream a reality,” said Cleo Parker Robinson. 

In addition to the student performances, the show will feature and highlight the range of athletic, entertaining and historic works the CPRDE company is known for. Currently celebrating its 49th Anniversary Season, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance is an international cultural institution rooted in African American traditions and the Diaspora, dedicated to excellence in performances and community programming. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance views dance as a universal language of movement – celebrating performance, individual expression, healing and peace – transcending boundaries of culture, class and age. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance is committed to honoring diversity and inclusiveness throughout the global community.

COST: Tickets will be $10 for general admission, $5 for FSCJ and JU students, staff and faculty with College ID, and free for ESJ students with prior reservation. Call (904) 646-2222 to purchase tickets. Tickets will only be released with proper school identification.

WHEN: February 21 and 22, 2020

7:30-9:30 p.m.

WHERE: FSCJ South Campus, Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts

11901 Beach Blvd.

 Jacksonville, FL 32246

About FSCJ

Known as “the community’s college,” Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) exists to provide valuable, high-quality learning opportunities to anyone with the desire to enhance themselves through the pursuit of higher education. Serving more than 50,000 students and awarding more than 6,000 degrees and certificates on an annual basis, the College plays a significant role in supplying the region’s employers with a highly skilled, educated workforce.

About the FSCJ Dance Department

FSCJ offers a broad spectrum of dance instruction to students of all skill levels from a diverse and talented dance faculty led by Director of Dance Rebecca R. Levy. The Dance Department supports the College mission of providing high value, relevant life-long education that enhances the intellectual, social, cultural and economic development of our diverse community. FSCJ offers a concentrated study of dance performance and choreography for students pursuing their Associate in Arts (A.A.) with a concentration in dance. danceWORKS is a student-driven organization that participates in a number of performances on campus and throughout the community. The majority of danceWORKS students are on full or partial dance scholarships. Members have the chance to work with dynamic professors and talented guest artists, as well as opportunities to perform at events like the American College Dance Festival and travel to places like San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles for training. FSCJ is a member of the American College Dance Association (ACDA).

About the Jacksonville University Department of Dance

The JU Department of Dance offers a four-year undergraduate program that culminates in a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Many students seek additional opportunities by receiving an Entrepreneurship Certificate or a companion minor in Kinesiology or Dance Education. Faculty members are professional dancers who remain active in regional and national dance activities. They coach, mentor and motivate students to achieve their fullest potential. In their course of study, JU dancers become experts at technique and choreography, dance history and criticism, and kinesiology. JU’s dance program is comprehensive, competitive and holds accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD). World-renowned guest artists, of all genres, generously contribute their expertise to guide and inspire JU dancers. Master classes, guest residencies and guest repertoire enhance the rigorous program and provide connections to the professional field. It is, specifically, this diverse experience that creates a versatile dancer and successful artist. Students become fluent in expressing abstract ideas, as well as, emotional narratives through classical ballet, modern, jazz, and experimental dance forms. JU graduates are currently performing in contemporary and classical companies, as well as commercial venues throughout the country.

About Episcopal School of Jacksonville Fine Arts

The arts at Episcopal are the heartbeat that gives life to our campus and community. At the very center of who we are, we find our visual and performing arts students exploring, creating and expressing all that they are learning through the medium of their art. Through in-depth study of both the nature of art and the important role of the artists in society, students are challenged to find their own creative contribution to our school and our world, as they take classes in their chosen discipline, many through the Honors and AP levels. All students at Episcopal are exposed to our fine arts programs in the classroom as part of an integrated curriculum with a focus on the wholeness and development of each student. Our facilities are unparalleled. Our Munnerlyn Center for Worship and Fine Arts houses instrumental music classrooms, choral and Orff facilities, a dance studio, a fully equipped scene shop, and our state-of-the-art stage complete with fly system and orchestra pit. Our visual arts complex houses traditional darkroom and digital photography labs, lighting studios, the ceramics lab, and art studios for painting, drawing, and printmaking.