BDBB: The Black Dance and Broadway Blog

Covering black professionals and professional productions in the dance and theater worlds, plus general arts news

Dance: Hearts of Men Concerts Celebrate Special Initiative

Heartsofmen1

For the past two weeks, more than 60 men, ranging in age from 13 to 63, have been gathering in studios at the Alvin Ailey extension program in New York City as part of a special program called Hearts of Men. The program, founded by Frederick Earl Mosely, is intended to bring men together to share their artistry and spirit.

While the program is more focused on the work and spirit of coming together, there will be two performances celebrating some of the work created during the two weeks – at 7 p.m. Sept. 5 and 3 p.m Sept 6 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater – the theater in the Ailey building on W. 55th Street.   Tickets are $18 for students, $25 for adults, and there will be 13 works in total, by choreographers including Julian Barnett, Germaul Barnes, Clifton Brown, Patrick Coker, Tracy Dunbar, Fredrick Earl Mosley, Christopher Rudd, Matthew Rushing, Edwin Rodriguez, and Walter Rutledge.

heartsofmen2

Here, Mosley and Steffen Coleman, executive director of Mosley’s Institute for the Arts, provide answers to our questions about the Hearts of Men initiative:

BDBB: Why are you doing Hearts of Men and how and when did you start it?

Coleman: Hearts of Men Ensemble is a community based all-male dance company created to honor the passion, determination, potential and beauty of all men in an inter-generational process. Created in 2011 by founder/director Fredrick Earl Mosley, company members included such greats as the late Dudley Williams, Matthew Rushing, Clifton Brown, Darius Crenshaw, Brian Harlan Brooks, and Jamal Story. The ensemble has performed in the Ailey Studios and at Montclair State University, and SummerStage over the past three years.

 Mr. Mosley’s vision has always been to further people’s lives through dance – for all people. Hearts of Men recognizes that many men, including male dancers, have few opportunities to collaborate and share their artistic expression with one another. This process creates that opportunity. Dudley Williams said;” That is a long time not to have this kind of experience.”

 Hearts of Men summer intensive brings together many generations of men, from elders to youngsters, in one circle of shared experience. The goal is to broaden the experience beyond the performance aspect. Mr. Mosley’s vision is for Hearts of Men to continue to grow in diverse ways, including age ranges, variety of artists/teachers, levels and kinds of participants’ expertise and diverse backgrounds. 

 BDBB: Can you describe what the atmosphere is like?

Mosley: The atmosphere is filled with the inspiration to let go of superficial doubts and work to become a genuine artist by being honest with yourself about the way you approach challenges in life, no matter how intimidating they seem. There is a fantastic sense of comfort in the knowledge that there is a whole community of male dancers willing to come together to show love and motivational support for each other in an art form that takes an extreme amount of ambition to succeed in. 

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One comment on “Dance: Hearts of Men Concerts Celebrate Special Initiative

  1. Dream Without Borders
    September 6, 2015

    Excellent!!

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