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Sankofa Dance Theater

Another Star

Choreographed and Costumed by LaWanda S. Raines

Music: Stevie Wonder

Dancers:  Tyrique Mckie,  Alilcia Williams, Omi Davis, Kiara Trent, Jayla Gilmore, Ryane Betourney, Denver Francis McKenzie, Joy Watson, Naysha Catoe, Indacia Turner

Sankofa Dance Theater is the academic dance company as part of the Dance Minor Program at Virginia State University founded by Dr. Benita Brown in  1999. LaWanda S. Raines is proud to be the new director as of Spring of 2022.


Julinda Lewis

Chain Breaker

Choreographer: Julinda D. Lewis

Music credits: Tasha Cobb Leonard

Dancers: Julinda D. Lewis


Richmond City Dance Theatre


Choreographed by Rodney Williams

Music: Mills

Dancers:Tameaya Cooper, Sydnee Hilliard, Kiante Tate,  Imani Barfield 

Understudy….  Veronica Blunt 

Richmond City Dance Theatre is part of Richmond City Parks and Recreation and is housed at Pine Camp Arts and Recreation Center.

Tribal Unicorn

Choreographed by Tribal Unicorn (Missy Moore, April Lamar, Debbie Richardson) - group improvisation

Dancers:  Missy Moore, April Lamar, Debbie Richardson

Tribal Unicorn was founded in 2017 by April LaMar and Debbie Richardson to promote diversity, inclusion, variety, and love in the belly dance realm and beyond. With the addition of Missy Moore in 2019, Tribal Unicorn continues to be a beacon of black belly dance excellence. With culturally aware passionate performances, these ladies have graced stages from coast to coast, leading by example every time. For more info on Tribal Unicorn performances, workshops and classes please follow @tribalunicorncollective on IG".


Salsa Connection Dance Company


Choreographed by Darlin Garcia

Music title and composer/artist - Tumbao by Prince Royce feat. Arturo Sandoval and Gente De Zona

Dancers: Crystal Bullock, Candice Deisher, Carey Mitchell and Rudy Saint Julien


Johnnie Cruise Mercer

Process Memoir 7: (Vol. 3) 

"when everything's not beautiful" 

Choreographed and Performed by Johnnie Cruise Mercer

Music: My Country 'Tis of Thee by Billy Preston


Material and processes explored in this Volume are tied to 2017's Process memoir 2: on the action of Black&White. A memoir based process performance dedicated to telling stories using composition and symbolism, "when everything's not beautiful" is a distant echo from previously explored scores. The material created in 2017 was made possible through support via a Cuny Dance Initiative 2017-2018 Residency at York College,  Silo Dance/NOW, a 2017 AIRspace Residency at Artist Abrons Arts Center, and RestorationArts Choreoquest 2018. The work was furthered with support from the USA Princess Grace Foundation, and through residency support while a 2022 AIR at Center for Performance Research.


"when everything's not beautiful"  marks the third formally presented volume within Process memoir 7: Volumes on Black Philosophy, Othered Possibility, and Freedom (through Rest, Unrestricted Thought thus Imagination). The seventh process memoir in Johnnie Cruise Mercer/TheREDprojectNYC's current six year anthology project- "A Process Anthology: The Decade from Hell and the Decade that Followed Suite" , this chapter in the anthology activates itself as a series of facilitated experiments, events, curations, retreats, and collaborative projects commissioned to ignite collaboration within the TRPNYC network. Unlike other process memoirs, this chapter of the process anthology renders its goals completely outside of the context of performing; embracing rest's ability to find alternate ways to view, produce, and take on work. 


Claves Unidos

 I Need You

Choreographd by Kevin LaMarr Jones


Music:I NEED YOU by Jon Batiste 



Lameka Booker, Aysha Brown, Linda Dority, Shantell Dunnaville, Christina Irby, Kevin LaMarr Jones, Erica Lacks, Allisen Learnard, Faith Rowland, Libby Sentz, Shalandis Wheeler Smith, Alysia Taylor, Megan Vernon


CLAVES UNIDOS, translated United Rhythms, is a RVA-based dance community facilitated and directed by Kevin LaMarr Jones that celebrates the unique ability of dance to build community, with a particular focus on acknowledging the African heritage of many beloved dance forms around the world.




Presentation of  Gurumbé by director, Miguel Ángel Rosales  Sponsored by Claves Unidos

Virginia Black Dance Festival thanks you for your support. Please plan to join us for VBDF 2023

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Virginia Black Dance Festival 2022
Performance Program

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