July 20, 2022
Pittsburgh, Pa. — Slippery Rock University's Department of Dance took its award-winning Palenque company to downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday, July 16 to perform at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center's (AWAACC) S.T.E.A.M. Family Day.
Palenque (Pa-len-ke) is a touring company that promotes Colombian culture and its compelling African ancestry merging traditional and contemporary artistic expressions. Since 2012, Palenque has performed at more than 150 events before thousands of spectators throughout Western Pennsylvania and beyond, entertaining and educating audiences about the rich and vast dance culture of Colombia.
Palenque features 15-18 SRU dance majors, who dedicate substantial time to researching, reconstructing, learning and performing these dances for a variety of audiences. The performance is filled with extravagantly colorful costumes, grounded polyrhythmic movements and an exciting celebration of Colombian culture.
"The August Wilson African American Cultural Center has always been a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion of all cultures,' said Melissa Teodoro, SRU professor of dance and artistic director of Palenque. "We were honored to have the opportunity to transform downtown Pittsburgh into a Colombian town plaza through Palenque."
The non-profit AWAACC is one of the largest cultural organizations in the country focused exclusively on presenting the African American experience through artistic expression that reflects the prestige, authority and vision illuminated in the work of August Wilson. The AWAACC strives to inspire all people to see Black creativity and innovation as an impetus for heartfelt human connection.
Palenque company members performing at the AWAACC included:
- Taylor Andrekanic
- Katie Baughn
- Skylar Smith
- Austin Shaffer
- Kelvin Rodriguez
- Ericka Morton
- Jaidyn Broody-Walega
- Kaylee Smith
- Elena Turner
For more information on Palenque, visit the Slippery Rock University Department of Dance webpage.
MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | firstname.lastname@example.org