We honor the 2021 celebration of Black History Month by highlighting and sharing the choreography of four Black artists that were commissioned under RDT’s Manifest Diversity Initiative.
Last, we share the work of an RDT alumni dancer Justin Bass.
Reset was created by one of RDT’s alumni dancers, Justin Bass, who was also the winner of RDT’s REGALIA Choreographic Competition 2020. The event invited four choreographers to create short works during a four-hour period and then the audience selected one of the choreographers to receive a commission.
The COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges to our organization, our season, and our choreographers. We were determined to carry on our artistic plan even though we needed to adapt to the strict regulations outlined to keep our dancers and our audience safe. Dancers were told to wear masks and to distance themselves during rehearsals and performances. Justin needed to create a new work that adhered to the regulations. He choreographed Reset with the strict guidelines and developed a delightful work that skillfully uses simple patterns that both separate and connect the dancers in space. The dancer’s gestures use a kind of hieroglyphic movement alphabet to communicate a sense of community.
Choreography: Justin Bass
Costumes: Justin Bass
Performance: RDT Company
View full performance for educational purposes HERE
Justin Bass is from East Cleveland, Ohio and attended Kent State University and majored in Dance Education in 2009. In 2011 he transferred to SUNY Brockport and graduated in 2013 with his BFA in Dance. During his time at SUNY Brockport he was a touring and performing intern with Garth Fagan Dance, performing at renowned stages including The Joyce Theater. Justin was a former dancer for five seasons (2013-2018) with Repertory Dance Theatre. He currently resides in Brooklyn, NY where he is continuing his choreography, teaching at 92nd Street Y and working for The Wallace Foundation.
Repertory Dance Theatre believes that all peoples, their cultures, and their art contribute to the meaning and understanding of our humanity and should be honored and celebrated.
RDT firmly stands against racism in all forms. We, as a Company, denounce racism, bigotry, and intolerance in our state and across the nation. We are committed to learning, growing, and listening as we work toward a more equitable world for all.