‘offCENTER’ on target at AWC

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Once again the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in the Cultural District, Downtown, was, “Dead On.” The brilliant showcase of talent in dance and song left the audience in an emotional state of bliss.

danceensemble
AUGUST WILSON CENTER DANCE ENSEMBLE

Alisha Shipman, artistic director, along with Terrance Green and Greer Reed, director of the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, displayed some of the best performers in their repertoire. The show entitled “offCENTER: A Gospel Showcase” set the mood as if being at Sunday church. The diverse group of young performers gave powerful and endearing interpretations of the love of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Deryck Tines sang a song to preview a piece of his upcoming theater production of Mahalia Jackson. It set the mood for the evening, as next on stage, were the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble with “Come Unto Thee.” It was a breathtaking routine filled with joy and a wonderful musical theme. Pittsburgh native, Travis Malloy and his singers then performed an inspirational song called “God Is The Greatest” which lifted the crowd to its feet with participation in song. Next to grace the stage was the ever so talented Christian Contemporary Dance Co. with such movement, grace and fluidity in their movements, they left the audience spell bound.

In between the magnificent performances, Rev. John Knight, of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lincoln Larimer, gave service to all with his fine use of parables from the bible. The showcase continued with a special treat from spoken word artist Tequala Coven and her husband, acoustic guitarist Seron Reed. The style of their combined talents was a throwback, to the late Woodstock era of peace music, which was felt in the Bob Marley like Christian tune, “I’m A Rebel.”

Last, but in no way least, as if shot out of a cannon, choreographer Terrance Green introduced the Urban Dance Collective. This amassing dance troupe hailed from Cleveland, he stated that this is the youngest troupe to have traveled with him, and numbered at 26 dancers.

In all, the August Wilson’s “A Gospel Showcase” was a rousing success with a bold stylistic virtuosity and an impeccable élan.

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