Photo by Jerry Metellus

Kelly Strayhorn Theater
February 19 & 20
8 p.m.

With its presentation of Bamboula: Musicians’ Brew, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater brings an internationally acclaimed company to town, hosts an innovative Pittsburgh premiere and continues its support of the creation of bold new works—all in one weekend.

Making their debut in Pittsburgh, the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, which has been based in Denver for over four decades, performs the mixed repertory program, Bamboula: Musicians’ Brew, for just two nights at the East Liberty-based cultural venue.

Photo by Jerry Metellus
Photo by Jerry Metellus

Commissioned by the Kelly Strayhorn, the complex new work was created by rising star dancer and choreographer, Millicent Johnnie, who has produced award-winning works for venues around the world, as well as for features films and musical acts. Inspired by research about the connections between Zulu Krewe minstrel parades of New Orleans and Minstrel Carnivals of Cape Town, South Africa, Bamboula explores these rich, vibrant and colorful traditions.

The interdisciplinary and collaborative production is set to music created by acclaimed NYC-based composer Charles Vincent Burwell. The show’s score features New Orleans jazz music along with traditional South African sounds, and involves collaborations with Pittsburgh-based musicians.

Also on the program are seminal works from the company’s legendary repertory that showcase multiple generations of African American choreographers, including dances created by David Rousseve and Theo Jamison.

Underscoring the KST’s commitment to serving as an accessible, neighborhood-based center, all of its events offer a “Pay What Makes You Happy” ticketing format, which allows attendees to name their own price. Note: Bamboula: Musicians’ Brew, the final work on the program, contains partial nudity.

Purchase tickets.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in February feature.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.