OMAR EDWARDS is an internationally recognized dancer, whose foot music has taken him to over 20 countries and onto countless stages: including on Broadway Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in “da Funk, the National Touring Company of Black and Blue, a seven-year stint as the “Sandman” in NBC’S Showtime at the Apollo, Live at the Hollywood Bowl with Alicia Keyes, a Command Performance at the White House with Savion Glover before President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, featured performer at the 2021 Soul Train Awards where he reprised his role as the “Sandman” and most recently a featured performance at the Harlem Cultural Festival.
Omar received an NAACP Image Award and nominations for both a Bessie Award and a Broadwayworld.com LA Award for his performance in FLY. Television / film credits include “A Song for Our People” and “4 Little Girls: A Dance Film”. Stage/Touring Credits include Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan’s play, FLY, (for which Omar originated and choreographed the role of the Tap Griot); REFORM: Disparities in America Criminal Justice: and “4 Little Girls
Omar’s new CD: All Unique /Where the Tap Dancer Leads the Band is available @ https://omaredwards.hearnow.com
Read more about Omar Edwards in Tap Dance America: A Short History by Constance Valis Hill.
Venza Dance / Quaba V. Ernest
Venza Dance is a series of works directed/created by Quaba V. Ernest. It is a project based collective with the mission of exploring live/digital creations that invoke the viewer to further questions. Placing an emphasis on multidisciplinary collaboration it aims to research the endless possibilities of movement, all the forms it exists in, and the countless perspectives to capture it. Using seemingly abstract interpretations the work seeks to turn focus towards often overlooked or internalized feelings of identity, race, culture, isolation, and crisis. Pulling inspiration from my own experience and that of collaborators it aims to give a new perspective on everyday life, our roles within, and constantly evolving culture.
Jeremy McQueen’s Black Iris Project – Excerpts from WILD
Loosely inspired by Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are children’s book, WILD follows a young boy’s journey as he celebrates his 14th birthday while incarcerated. Frequently harnessing the power of his imagination, he transports himself to an alternate universe where he is not treated like a wild animal. This cutting-edge ballet utilizes physical movement to illustrate and honor the history of Black bodies moving through space while encountering oppression and transforms countless men’s stories into an artistic dance work, intended to be a reclaiming of time, unity, space, and Black culture.
Founded in 2016 by choreographer Jeremy McQueen, The Black Iris Project is an unapologetically Black ballet collaborative and education vehicle which creates new, relevant classical and contemporary ballet works that celebrate diversity and Black history. Based in NYC, the project hosts a team of predominantly Black artists delivering cross-disciplinary and original works of art. Championing individuality, the collaborative harnesses the Black community’s inherent creative spirit to encourage and inspire youth of color to pursue art, movement and music as an expressive outlet and a means for collective healing.