Sparrow sings ‘Something Positive’

Something Positive Dance Company.
Photo by Marcia Wilson

For the second consecutive year, big names are coming out in support of the Brooklyn based Afro-Caribbean dance company, Something Positive, for a spectacular one-night performance titled “Ancestral Chant” on Saturday, June 4 at 8:00 p.m. at Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts (Long Island University Brooklyn Campus – Flatbush Avenue between DeKalb Avenue and Willoughby Street).

The concert, which begins Caribbean Heritage month, will be preceded by the gala benefit party “Cocktails & Conversations.”

“Cocktails & Conversations,” starting at 6:00 p.m. at the University’s Reggio Café will be hosted by Calypso King of The World The Mighty Sparrow, Miss Trinidad and Tobago Universe 2003 Faye Alibocus, acclaimed comedienne and actress Hazelle Goodman, and Alvin Ailey Dancer and Associate Producer of Disney’s the Lion King on Broadway, Aubrey Lynch II.

The award winning Mighty Sparrow has released hundreds of songs in a career that spans 60 years.

Ms. Goodman is perhaps best known for her one-woman HBO special “Hazelle” and her work in the Woody Allen film, “Deconstructing Harry.”

In addition to the hosts, the evening will feature a reading and book signing of “The Dance Claimed Me – A Biography of Pearl Primus” by Peggy and Murray Schwartz. Entertainment will be provided by recording artist, Kevon Carter, along with music mixed by DJ Keith.

“Ancestral Chant,” will celebrate the lives and artistic legacies of three iconic stalwarts of African American and Caribbean Culture; Rapso music pioneer, dancer and founder of Something Positive, Cheryl Byron; The Grandmother of African American dance Pearl Primus, and Jazz legend Nina Simone.

The company will perform “Sweet Nina Suite,” a seven-section suite of dances created by Michael Manswell, and set to the music of Nina Simone; Dr. Pearl Primus’ “Hard Time Blues;” and Cheryl Byron’s riveting “Ancestral Chant,” which was choreographed in honor of her friend and mentor, Dr. Pearl Primus. This is the first time that all three icons who were friends in life will be honored at the same time.

Something Positive comprises of more than 40 dancers, singers and musicians. The company has performed their original repertoire at venues including Lincoln Center, American Museum of Natural History, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 92nd Street Y and Brooklyn Museum. Something Positive has the distinction of being the only dance company invited to perform for the official unveiling of the African Burial Ground National Monument.

The company has conducted performing arts and costuming workshops for more than 300,000 youth and community members over the last decade. Proceeds will help to fund Something Positive as they continue to enrich the local community through their performances and public programs.

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