Men of Change: As we Journey Through
Celebrate Black History Month and join Charlotte Ballet II for a contemporary dance performance and audience talkback inspired by the Smithsonian exhibition Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth is currently on view at Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture and Levine Museum of the New South until March 12th.
This brand new work, created by Choreographer Ashley Lindsey, focuses on the revolutionary men of color who have come before us. The achievements of the “men of change” are woven within the legacy and traditions of the African American journey—achievements of excellence in spite of society’s barriers.
The As we Journey Through performance will be followed by an engaging panel discussion. Hear the behind-the-scenes details from the show’s choreographer, Ashley Lindsey. Take in performance artist Holly Bass‘s perspective of the show as she discusses her Alvin Ailey-inspired Men of Change work. Receive foundational context of the Men of Change exhibition with its curator, Marquette Folley, content director at the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The esteemed panel will be hosted by Kimberly Pereira, Charlotte Ballet’s director of education & community engagement.
Charlotte Ballet Center for Dance
701 North Tryon Street
Sunday, February 19th
The Inspiration Behind As we Journey Through – Ashley Lindsey, Choreographer
When I began creating As we Journey Through for Charlotte Ballet II, I was inspired by emotions I experienced while touring the Men of Change exhibit presented by Ford and the Smithsonian Museum. From sadness to anger to hope and pride. I wanted these emotions to be the underlying theme throughout the work and to translate these feelings into movement authentically and honestly.
As I was touring the exhibit, the photo Black Boys by Dapper Lou particularly stood out. To me, this striking image genuinely embodied the sense of community that is critical to the survival of oppressed groups. The photo documented a time of extreme adversity and tension. However, the hope and pride in the eyes of the individuals photographed were ever-present.
As a choreographer, I’m always inspired by the dancers with whom I share the creative space. It was important to me to highlight each dancer’s individuality and virtuosic movement quality to tell the story of As we Journey Through. It was an honor to be a part of this collaboration between Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture, Levine Museum of the New South and Charlotte Ballet.
About Ashley Lindsay
Ashley Lindsey is a choreographer, director and educator. He is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina and a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). Ashley’s professional career began in 2007 when Artistic Director Carla Maxwell invited him to join the Limón Dance Company. During his time with the company, he performed in theaters across five continents and was in featured roles in works by José Limón, Anna Sokolow, Clay Taliaferro, Jonathan Fredrickson and Donald McKayle. He joined the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 2011 and later worked with choreographers Helen Simoneau, Celia Rowlson-Hall and three-time Tony Award winner Hinton Battle.
As a choreographer, his work has been commissioned by Limón II, Houston Met Too Dance Co, University of North Carolina Greensboro, Elon University and four commissions for UNCSA. His work has been presented at Reverb International Dance Festival, Capezio Ace Awards and the White Wave International Dance Festival. Other choreography credits include Greensboro Opera’s “Porgy and Bess.” The Miss North Carolina Pageant, movement direction for supermodel Miranda Kerr and the dance films, “NEXT,” “Volant Matter,” “Better” and “Triune.”
He is currently on faculty at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts as a visiting guest professor and the artistic director of UNCSA’s Summer Dance Intensive and Professional Studies Workshop.
About Holly Bass
Holly Bass is a multidisciplinary performance and visual artist, writer and director. Her work depicting Alvin Ailey for the Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth. exhibition is currently on view. Bass’s work has been presented at spaces such as the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museums, the Seattle Art Museum, Art Basel Miami Beach (Project Miami Fair) and the South African State Theatre. Her visual artwork includes photography, installation, video and performance and can be found in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the DC Art Bank, as well as private collections.
She has received numerous grants from the DC Arts Commission and was a 2019 Red Bull Detroit artist-in-residence and a 2019 Dance/USA Artist Fellow. She is a 2020-2022 Live Feed resident artist at New York Live Arts and a 2021-22 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow. A gifted and dedicated teaching artist, she directed a year-round creative writing and performance program for adjudicated youth in DC’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services for four years as well as facilitating workshops nationally and internationally. She is currently the national director for Turnaround Arts at the Kennedy Center, a program which uses the arts strategically to transform schools facing severe inequities.
About Marquette Folley
Marquette Folley is a social and cultural historian and exhibition developer and project manager. She came to the Smithsonian Institution in 1983 as a fellow to work on the National Museum of American History exhibition Field to Factory: Afro-American Migration, 1915-1940. Later, Folley joined the curatorial staff in the musical history division of the museum and worked to increase and broaden the jazz holdings of the museum. Currently, Folley is content director at the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).
At SITES, she was co-curator and co-creator of the exhibition and book titled Seeing Jazz, and exhibition developer and project director for the traveling exhibitions The Negro Motorists Green Book, Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth., and 100 Faces of War. Her past works include Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey, Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise, American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print, William H. Johnson: An American Modern, Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight, 381 Days: The Montgomery Bus Boycott, and Louis Armstrong: A Cultural Legacy.
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and Levine Museum of the New South are proud to collaborate and bring the dynamic exhibition Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth. to our Charlotte community. The exhibition profiles the revolutionary men whose journeys have altered the history and culture of the country.
Men of Change was developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and made possible through the generous support of the Ford Motor Company Fund.
Free admission to the Men of Change Exhibition at the Gantt Center and Levine Museum is made possible by generous support from Wells Fargo.