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With Conference Return, Black Dance Companies Have Chance to Look Back and Ahead

Philadelphia
SCOTT ROBBINS
Members of Philadelphia's PHILADANCO!, one of the founding members of the International Association of Blacks in Dance.

A Tempo on Saturday (2/25) turns the spotlight on the International Association of Blacks in Dance, which held its first in-person conference in three years this past January.

When the International Association of Blacks in Dance held its annual conference and festival in January 2020 under the theme "Then Now Next," no one had any idea that that "next" would turn out to be a pandemic that would shut down theaters for nearly two years, or that efforts to bring more diversity and inclusion into the arts world would dominate many discussions and conversations among performing arts organizations. Three years later, the conference and festival reconvened in-person this past January to take stock of the new "now," and look ahead to the new tomorrow emerging ahead for black dancers and dance organizations.

A Tempo host Rachel Katz speaks with IABD President and CEO Denise Saunders Thompson about the discussions at this year's event, the issues facing black dance companies, and some of the programs IABD offers to help move them forward.

This week's program also includes excerpts from the New York Philharmonic's press conference introducing its Music Director designate, Gustavo Dudamel.

Rachel Katz is the host of A Tempo which airs Saturdays at 7 pm.