If you like Broadway, you will not want to miss Raisin, a musical based on Lorraine Hansberry’s classic drama: A Raisin in the Sun. Based in mid-century Chicago, a black family struggles with loss, change, and identity. People who watched the musical, commented that the musical was even more evocative than the play. It even won the 1974 Tony Award for best musical.
Donald McKayle is the choreographer of Raisin, and was nominated for both his roles as director of a cast and for his dancing. He is also Broadway’s first black man to direct a musical and incorporate choreography in a way that encompasses the African-American experience of the time period.
His dancing career spanned seven decades even though he could not dance, he persisted on teaching and education to foster young dancer’s development. When he was 14 he was enchanted by the first musical he saw, Finian’s Rainbow. But it was a dance concert with Pearl Primus, another pioneer in introducing African and Caribbean dance to Americans, that sealed the deal. “I want to dance like her,” he announced to a friend that night, and from then on he considered himself a dancer, and eventually took up choreography.
However, Donald was an anonymous immigrant to theater, until he received his first Tony nomination-Golden Boy- when he was 35. In his seventy years of dancing, he was dedicated to education and left much advice to younger dancers, “Work in as many areas as you can,” he suggested. “The more colors you have on your palette, the more you have to work with, and the more you can aspire to.”
Donald McKayle realized his dreams were through dance. He is not the only exception. Vaslav Nijinsky, Josephine Baker, and Fred Astaire are famous and successful dancers known for their choreography. Canyon Entertainment Academy is the music school devoted to filling gaps in the training and education of young musicians and singers in their quest to becoming true artists and professionals in the music industry. For more information about this topic, visit the source content at the New York Times website.
One of the masters in dance at Canyon Entertainment Group, Kwame, has been seen in the videos of some of Canada’s premier artists such as Shawn Desman, Jully Black, Glenn Lewis, and Sean Paul, just to list a few. He is available to do individualized training and can help create a choreographed piece to be performed by an artist on stage. Come and find your choreography talent!