The Duke Divinity School Office of Black Church Studies will host a panel discussion on "A Time to Dance: African American Theology & the Arts." The panel is the first event in the African American Theology in the Arts Symposium and will expound upon the idea of black art as a primary source for doing theology and initiate conversation on the theological implications of black dance traditi
The Divinity School Office of Black Church Studies will host a symposium March 4-5 featuring Ailey II, the young company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, to celebrate and explore the intersection of African American theology and the arts. The purpose of the symposium is to highlight the cultural significance of African American art forms for the Black Church and the black theological imagination.
Schedule of Events
Pre-registration is required for all events.
|Friday, March 4|
|1:00 - 2:30 p.m.||Opening Panel Discussion: "A Time to Dance: African American Theology & the Arts"||Goodson Chapel, Duke Dvinity School|
|3:30 - 5:00 p.m.||Master Dance Class with Artistic Director of Ailey II||
The Ark, 14 Epworth Ln., Durham
|Saturday, March 5|
|10 a.m.||Keynote Lecture with LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant||Location TBD|
|11:15 a.m.||Panel Discussion: "Move, Members, Move: The Arts in the Black Religious Imagination"||Location TBD|
|12:30 p.m.||Boxed lunches are available to attendees who ordered them in advance during registration.||Location TBD|
|2:00 - 3:15 p.m.||Workshops||Duke Divinity School|
|3:30 p.m.||Closing Panel: "Sinner Wo/man: Black Theology, and Popular Culture"||Location TBD|
|7:00 - 7:25 p.m.||Pre-Show Discussion (Note: attendees must have Ailey II performance ticket)||Reynolds Industries Theater|
|8:00 p.m.||Ailey II Performance||Reynolds Industries Theater|
Opening Panel Discussion: "A Time to Dance: African American Theology & the Arts"
1:00 - 2:00 p.m., March 4 at Goodson Chapel, Duke Divinity School
The opening panel will expound upon the idea of black art as a primary source for doing theology and initiate conversation on the theological implications of black dance traditions. Participants include Eboni Marshall Turman, director of the Office of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School; Jeremy Begbie, Thomas A. Langford Research Professor of Theology at Duke Divinity School; Troy Powell, Ailey II artistic director; and Takiyah Nur-Amin, assistant professor of dance at UNC Charlotte.
Master Dance Class with Artistic Director of Ailey II
3:30 - 5:00 p.m., March 4 at The Ark, 14 Epworth Ln., Durham, N.C.
This full-length modern dance class is open to the community and will be taught by Troy Power, artistic director of Ailey II and former principal dance with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Prior dance experience is recommended.
Keynote Lecture with LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant: "Honor, Honor: The Black Body as Sacred Text"
10 a.m., March 5, Location TBD
LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant is associate professor of African Studies and Religion at Williams College and author of Talking to the Dead: Religion, Music, and Lived Memory Among Gullah/Geechee Women (Duke University Press, 2014).
Panel Discussion: "Move, Members, Move: The Arts in the Black Religious Imagination"
11:15 a.m., March 5, Location TBD
This panel will explore the black body as instrument and the religious implications of black music and black dance in the United States. Participants include Tommy DeFrantz, professor of Women's Studies at Duke University; Alisha Lola Jones, assistant professor of ethnomusicology at Indiana University, Bloomington; and Melanie Jones, a Ph.D. student in ethics, theology, and culture at Chicago Theological Seminary.
2:00 - 3:15 p.m., March 5
Participants may select one of the three workshops offered.
Black Sacred Music
York Room, Duke Divinity School
This workshop offers participants the opportunity to reflect on, engage, and experience the sacred music traditions in the Black Church. The facilitators are Charles Anthony Bryant, minister of music for youth at Abyssinian Baptist Church, Harlem, N.Y.; and Tony McNeill, director of worship arts at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta.
Black Sacred Dance
Goodson Chapel, Duke Divinity School
This workshop offers participants the opportunity to more deeply reflect on, engage, and experience sacred dance traditions in the Black Church. No experience necessary. Come prepared to move. The facilitator is Theara J.Ward of The Ailey School, and formerly of Dance Theater of Harlem.
Black Sacred Rhetoric & Ritual
This workshop offers participants the opportunity to reflect on, engage, and experience the sacred rhetoric and ritual traditions in the Black Church. Facilitator: Neichelle Guidry, associate pastor to young adults at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and Ph.D. student in liturgical studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.
Closing Panel: "Sinner Wo/man: Black Theology, and Popular Culture"
3:30 p.m., March 5, Location TBD
The closing panel will explore the religious and theological implications of gender in black popular culture.
Pre-Show Discussion (Note: attendees must have a Ailey II performance ticket)
7:00 - 7:25 p.m., March 5 at Reynolds Industries Theater
Join Eboni Marshall Turman, director of the Office of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School, and a special guest for a 25-minute pre-show discussion on Ailey II's Revelations.
Ailey II Performance
8:00 p.m., March 5 at Reynolds Industries Theater
The dancers of Ailey II offer a program anchored by Alvin Ailey’s quintessential signature piece Revelations, the most widely seen modern dance work in the world, celebrated by longtime New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff as the choreographer’s “great masterpiece,” and praised by the Boston Herald as “one of the most sublime dances ever choreographed.” Revelations explores the sorrow and the jubilation of African American cultural heritage through dances set to spirituals, gospel songs, and holy blues. In addition to Revelations, the program will draw on new works and standard repertory, to be announced early in 2016. Read more about the performance.
Registration & Tickets
Tickets to the Ailey II performance are available through Duke Performances.
Registration is required for the keynote lecture, panel discussions, master class, and workshops, and there is no charge for these events. During registration, attendees can choose to order a boxed lunch for Saturday, March 5 for $12. Register now.
Events In This Series
Ailey II, the young company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, has been a showcase for talented emerging dancers and choreographers since 1974. Praised by The New Yorker for their “off-the-charts energy,” and called “second to none” by Dance Magazine, the dancers of Ailey II are led by artistic director Troy Powell, a former dancer and choreographer for both Ailey II and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts (DITA) promotes a vibrant engagement between Christian theology and the arts at Duke Divinity School and beyond. Through events, teaching, and research, it is dedicated to showing how the arts can be enriched by theology, and theology in turn renewed through the arts.
Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts will offer a screening of producer/director T.J. Volgare's first short film, Abattoir. After the 27-minute film, Volgare will talk about his experience writing and directing, as well as the aesthetic and theological vision that informs his own work as an artist.
Volgare heads a production team in Durham, N.C., while also writing screenplays and fiction.
No registration is required.
Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts will host a brown-bag lunch conversation with producer/director T.J. Volgare and writer/theologian Peter Candler on the theological and formal dimensions of Terrence Malick's film The Tree of Life. The discussion will focus on story-telling, faith and the art of film-making.
More details will be announced after the beginning of the fall semester.
Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts at Duke Divinity School will present a public lecture by David Jeffrey, Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities at Baylor University. One of the pioneering scholars at the interface between theology and literature, he will lecture on "Bathsheba in the Eye of the Beholder: Rubens vs. Rembrandt" as part of the DITA Distinguished Lecture Series.
Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts at Duke Divinity School will present a public lecture by Karin Coonrod entitled "Hound Dog On A Scent: O'Connor's Words in the Theater Space." Coonrod is an internationally recognized theater artist whose work has been lauded by The New York Times as "prodigiously inventive." She is also a member of the faculty at the Yale School of Drama, where she is a lecturer in directing.
Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts in colloboration with N.C. State University will sponsor a poetry reading by poets-in-residence Malcolm Guite at Duke Divinity School in September and John Balaban at N.C. State.
The reading, "Love, Virtue and Poetry in an Era of Threat and War," will feature the poets reading from their recently published works. They also may select poems that relate to vital current themes or audience requests and questions.
The following event has been cancelled:
Duke Divinity School artist-in-residence Malcolm Guite will hold a public poetry reading at a brown-bag lunch. There also will be time for questions and conversation.
The scholar, poet, and singer began his month-long residency in September through the Divinity School and the Duke Initiatives in Arts and Theology.