Brooklyn dance group hits the international Stage

Brooklyn-based dance company, Something Positive, has been invited to perform at the 2011 Emancipation Celebrations in the twin-island nation of Trinidad & Tobago.

Members of the famed dance group left New York on July 26 for eight days of performances in Trinidad.

The dynamic company, known for its high-octane and synergetic performances, has been headlining concerts for audiences of more than 25,000 at the country’s famed Queens Park Savannah.

Artists from Trinidad & Tobago, London, Uganda, Nigeria and Cuba were scheduled to partitcipte in the celebrations — one of the largest and most festive cultural events in the world.

Something Positive’s artistic director and Lehman College Professor of Dance, Michael Manswell, says 2011 marks the 30th anniversary of Something Positive.

“We wanted to celebrate 30 years in a big way, but we never imagined this.

“To be invited to Trinidad & Tobago, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate.”

The dance company is set to present an abridged version of their recent sold-out production “Ancestral Chant.” This signature work which was choreographed by the company’s late founder, dancer and Rapso music pioneer Cheryl Byron, celebrates the lives and legacies of ancestors brought to the Western World during the trans-Atlantic enslavement trade.

Additionally, the company will present works honoring the grandmother of African American Dance, Dr. Pearl Primus and jazz legend, Nina Simone.

It has been a triumphant few years for this little-known company. In 2007, Something Positive was the only dance company invited by the U.S. Department of the Interior to perform for the official unveiling of the African Burial Ground National Monument. They followed that performance with five sold-out events at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

In 2008, Something Positive was invited to perform at the American Museum of Natural History. In 2009, the company sold out Long Island University’s Kumble Theater. In 2010, their first ever fundraiser was hosted by internationally renowned actor and activist, Danny Glover and legendary recording artist, David Rudder.

That fundraiser was followed with a headlining performance at the NY Times Center chaired by iconic actor Geoffrey Holder and their debut at Lincoln Center.

This year, the company had their fifth consecutive sell-out season: a fundraiser hosted by Calypso King of the World, The Mighty Sparrow; and made their debut at the famed Jacob’s Pillow Dance festival. After their return from Trinidad, Something Positive travels to Virginia to perform for the increasingly popular Norfolk Caribfest!

Members of Something Positive are thrilled to perform in Trinidad & Tobago, and Trinidad & Tobago is thrilled to have them.

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