Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
Cleo Parker Robinson Dance
UMS Presents World Premiere of Documentary Film, The Making of “The Four Journeys,” with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble
New Work Commissioned by Cleo Parker Robinson
Choreographed by Amalia Viviana Basanta Hernández
Filmed by Alan Domínguez
Premieres Friday, October 1 at 7:30 pm with Q&A to Follow
Ann Arbor, MI (September 16, 2021) On Friday, October 1, the University Musical Society (UMS) and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance present the digital world premiere of The Making of “The Four Journeys,” a 30-minute documentary film exploring the two-year creative process behind a new work that was developed for CPRD before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Commissioned by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and choreographed by Amalia Viviana Basanta Hernández, the artistic director of Ballet Folklórico de México, The Four Journeys was scheduled to be presented live at the Power Center in January 2021, but was postponed due to the pandemic. In response, Cleo Parker Robinson continued to develop the work with her company as part of a UMS Digital Artist Residency and opened up rehearsals to filmmaker Alan Domínguez, who captured footage throughout the creative process in both Denver and Mexico.
A testament to the power of art transcending borders, The Making of “The Four Journeys” elucidates the ways in which technology, creativity, and resiliency linked artists together during the COVID-19 pandemic. The documentary will be available on demand from Friday, October 1 through Sunday October 10 at ums.org/CleoFilm. Like all of UMS’s digital content, the documentary is available on demand at no cost.
Immediately following the documentary premiere, the creative team — including Cleo Parker Robinson, filmmaker Alan Domínguez, rehearsal director Chloe-Grant Abel, choreographer Amalia Viviana Basanta Hernández, and others — will participate in a Q&A about the process of creating both the new work and the film during the pandemic. The event will take place online at ums.org/CleoFilm.
“The Four Journeys” utilizes the story of Mexican Saint Catarina de San Juan to explore Mexico’s four root cultures — Indigenous, Spanish, Asian, and African. The work is a beautiful multi-media production embracing elements of each heritage and will have its premiere at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in September.
The Making of “The Four Journeys”
A Documentary Film by Alan Domínguez featuring Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble Premiering Friday, October 1 at 7:30 pm at ums.org/CleoFilm
Q&A with the Creative Team to Follow the Premiere
Free (registration required)
Available on Demand through Sunday, October 10
The documentary is funded by lead presenting sponsors Linh and Dug Song, with additional support by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project. This Digital Arts Adventure is made possible by the University of Michigan Credit Union’s Arts Adventures program.
Cleo Parker Robinson
Choreographer Cleo Parker Robinson is a cultural ambassador and the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of the Denver-based company Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, which celebrates its 51st season this year. As a Black art-maker, social activist, and community leader, she has been recognized with the Colorado Governor’s Award for Excellence, the Kennedy Center Medal of Honor, and countless other awards and citations for her contributions to the dance community.
Amalia Viviana Basanta Hernández
Amalia Viviana Basanta Hernández is the daughter of Mexico’s national treasure and world dance icon, Amalia Hernández, and Argentinian writer Joaquin Basanta. Basanta’s training with contemporary legends Alvin Nikolai, Hania Holm, Katherine Dunham, and Alvin Ailey facilitated her more than 20-year career as a principal and soloist with Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández, where she now serves as artistic director. Her unique approach to combining history, folklore, and contemporary movement, parallels the rapidly changing demographic and image of America today.
A cultural and national border crosser since birth, Alan is an award-winning filmmaker whose documentary and narrative films have been screened and distributed across three different continents and in three different languages. Denver-based with New Mexican roots, Alan teaches film production at Denver's CEC Early College of Denver, a magnet school in the Denver Public School system, and has also been a guest instructor and lecturer with the Emerging Filmmaker's Workshop and the Denver Film Society.
UMS Digital Artist Residency Program
During the coronavirus pandemic, UMS continued to connect audiences and artists through a robust Digital Artist Residency series, giving audiences a window into the creative process through six different projects by Wendell Pierce, Tarek Yamani and the Spektral Quartet, Tunde Olaniran, Cleo Parker Robinson, Brian Lobel and Gweneth Ann Rand, and Joyce DiDonato. All digital presentations are presented free-of-charge to enable access to audiences everywhere, supporting UMS’s commitment to bold artistic leadership, engaged learning through the arts, and access and inclusiveness.
A recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts, UMS (also known as the University Musical Society) contributes to a vibrant cultural community by connecting audiences with performing artists from around the world in uncommon and engaging experiences. One of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, UMS is an independent non-profito organization affiliated with the University of Michigan, presenting over 70 music, theater, and dance performances by professional touring artists each season, along with over 100 free educational activities. UMS is committed to bold artistic leadership, engaged learning through the arts, and access and inclusiveness. Since 1990, the organization has co-commissioned and supported the production of nearly 80 new or reimagined works. Matthew VanBesien became the organization's seventh president in July 2017.