we shall not be moved
Friday, Oct 6 / 8:00 pm
Saturday, Oct 7 / 8:00 pm
The Apollo Presents A New York Premiere Opera
Music by Daniel Bernard Roumain
Libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Directed & Choreographed by Bill T. Jones
Conducted by Viswa Subbaraman
Experience this genre-defying opera that combines spoken word, contemporary movement, video projection, classical, R&B and jazz influences. Inspired by the 1985 MOVE crisis in Philadelphia where a standoff between police and a Black liberation group resulted in the deadly bombing of a residential neighborhood, We Shall Not Be Moved explores that legacy today through five Philly teens who find power in family and resistance.
This invigorating chamber opera, is “ambitiously interdisciplinary,” according to Tony-Award winner Bill T. Jones (Fela!, Spring Awakening). He’s joined by Daniel Bernard Roumain, a Harlem based composer whose music blends genres into a vital, experiential sonic form and Marc Bamuthi Joseph – the acclaimed Haitian-American librettist whose bold poetically-driven work investigates social issues and cultural identity.
Friday, Oct 27 / 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, oct 28 / 7:30 p.m.
The Apollo Presents Breakin’ Convention
An International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre
A Sadler’s Wells London Project, Curated & Hosted by Jonzi D
Breakin Convention returns to the Apollo with another packed program featuring the best and brightest hip-hop dance companies from around the corner and around the world. The Apollo celebrates the global impact of its hip hop roots with everything from mainstream to experimental dance, showcasing all the hallmarks of the genre: explosive energy, intricate step sequences, synchronicity, and choreography.
International performers include the legendary Salah and Yeah Yellow of France, South Africa’s Soweto Skeleton Movers, and the UK’s Protocol. From New York, it’s the legendary Dynamic Rockers, Rep Your Style, Harlem’s own Bwreckfast Club from Litefeet Nation, Passion Fruit Dance Company, Havoc & Klassic. Spilling off stage and taking over the whole building, workshops, graffiti, DJs, and dance battles make Breakin’ Convention an unforgettable experience for the whole family.
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Saturday, Feb 24, 2018 / 8:00 p.m.
The Apollo Presents Soundtrack ‘63
A Soul Science Lab Production
Creative Direction by Chen Lo
Music Direction by Asanté Amin
Behind every movement is a soundtrack that inspires change. Experience the sights and sounds that shaped the music of an era. Soundtrack ‘63 is a live musical documentary and artistic retrospective of the African-American experience in America. This concert event connects generations using immersive video from and post- Civil Rights Movement along with spirituals, protest songs, hip-hop, jazz, funk, soul and popular 20th century music performed by an 18-piece orchestra and a soul stirring vocal ensemble along with commentary by Dr. Cornel West, and renowned poets Sonia Sanchez and Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets. Special guest performers to be announced soon!
“Chen Lo is a complete emcee but is perhaps best known for his clever lyricism.”
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Saturday, Mar 3, 2018 / 8:00 P.M.
Featuring Black Coffee, Tony Allen & Jeff Mills, and Pierre Kwenders
Presented in partnership with World Music Institute
Now in its sixth season, this annual concert celebrates the best of today’s African music scene. DJ and producer Black Coffee has experienced a meteoric rise to fame with a penchant for fresh sophisticated Afropolitan house music that’s sculpturaly balanced and beautiful. For the first time in the United States, the Apollo unites two legends to bring Afrobeat and techno together: Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer and original drummer for Fela Kuti, Tony Allen collaborates live with brilliant techno music DJ and producer Jeff Mills. Singer/songwriter Pierre Kwenders’ music ranges from R&B to electronic and futuristic hip-hop, all rooted in Congolese rumba, the ubiquitous sound of The Democratic Republic of Congo.
Between the World and Me
MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2018 / 8:00PM
TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2018 / 8:00PM
Apollo Theater presents A World Premiere Theatrical Performance Book by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Developed and Directed by Kamilah Forbes
Original Score by Jason Moran
Co-Commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me,” offers a powerful framework for understanding our nation’s history, the idea of race, and current crisis.
The live performance event will be a presentation of excerpted selections, read monologue-style by notable guest artists with newly composed music by pianist Jason Moran (“Selma,” “Netflix’s 13th,” Apollo Presents Harlem Nights/U Street Lights), direction by Apollo Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes (Broadway’s Stickfly, NBC’s “The Wiz”), and interactive visual storytelling by projection media artists.
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In my first season as Executive Producer of the Apollo Theater, I am honored to say that we are building on its legacy as the epicenter of American culture and black creativity, while collaborating with the most innovative and dynamic artists of the 21st century. This year, the Apollo Presents programing will premiere performances about some of the most powerful moments in our nation’s history, such as Bill T. Jones’ direction of a genre-crossing opera inspired by the 1985 MOVE Bombing in Philadelphia while also showcasing works that directly capture the spirit of struggle and resistance in our country today. I am proud to direct the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ award-winning “Between the World and Me” and meaningfully engage with the key issues of our time in a way that only the Apollo can do.
In the same way that a 17 year-old Ella, a dynamic young showman named James, and a burgeoning powerhouse singer named Aretha always saw the Apollo as both a world-class institution and an artistic home, we continue to invite artists in our space to dream, collaborate, and create works of art that defy expectations and authentically express themselves. We have a special name for those events: “only at the Apollo” moments. This year promises many of these once-in-a-generation experiences. I can’t wait to share them with you.
Enjoy the shows,
Apollo Executive Producer