Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Reaffirmed/Reimagined

Event Type
Event Description

Deeply Rooted Dance Theater (DRDT) offers classic revivals, company repertoire and a preview of a collaboration with gospel artist Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers. Reaffirmed/Reimagined takes place December 13–15 at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on the University of Chicago campus.

“Reaffirmed/Reimagined” features revivals of two classic DRDT works. Essence – A Portrait of Four Women (1972) by Haitian-American choreographer Martial Roumain, shows the lives of four women of color—a domestic worker, a high-value prostitute, a biracial African-Latina woman navigating two worlds and an urban woman surviving through race- based rage—intersecting on an emotional journey of self-actualization and sisterhood, set to music by legendary songstresses Nina Simone, Zulema, Roberta Flack and Nikki Giovanni with the James Cleveland Choir. Kevin Iega Jeff’s Dedication (1982) depicts an ancestral elder passing the legacy of life onto children of the new world, set to music by Quincy Jones, Clause Ogerman and Patti Austin. Also on the program are three works from the company repertoire. DRDT Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director Gary Abbott’s Parallel Lives (2017) is a contemporary narrative inspired by poor, working women who have shared life- changing events, both beautiful and tragic, with original music by Evangelos Spanos based on Vivaldi’s “La Folia.” Nicole Clarke-Springer’s Forces (2018) explores spiritual influences on daily consciousness, with music by Marcelo Zarvos. When Men (2016), by company and Artistic Team member Joshua L. Ishmon, considers the idea of abandoning stigmas to strengthen from within, with music by Ananda Giri and Paolo Nutini and text by Charlie Chaplin.

On December 14 and 15, a preview of Gesem, East of the Nile brings together DRDT and acclaimed gospel artist Donald Lawrence and his Tri-City Singers. This theatrical experience melds elements of choral, hip-hop, trap-jazz and inspirational music with inspirational dance theater. Said Jeff, “Collaborating with Donald Lawrence is exciting! His generous spirit is infectious, and his musical genius is legendary. We look forward to working with Donald to create Gesem, an inspired evening of dance, music and song.”


General Admission: $45

Premium Ticket: $150

Save 10% with a group of 10 or more

A $150 ticket for any performance provides additional support to Deeply Rooted and, on Friday, December 13 only, includes a post-performance VIP reception


Performance Schedule: 

Friday, December 13 | 7:00 PM Deeply Rooted Repertoire & Harvest

Group Celebration

Saturday, December 14 | 7:30 PM Deeply Rooted Repertoire & Gesem


Sunday, December 15 | 6:30 PM Deeply Rooted Repertoire & Gesem



Running Time
90 Minutes
Dance Styles
Modern / Contemporary