Sixteen dancers from Citydance’s Conservatory have been invited to perform in King In Our Midst, the National Cathedral’s annual celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 16 at 2pm. The annual event pays tribute to King, through service projects, interfaith dialogue, and performances that represent Washington’s rich musical and dance heritage.
“Dr. King asked us to be guardians of people, and of truth and beauty and justice. CityDance will honor these ideals through a presentation that is serene, yet powerful and that reflects the peaceful determination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his struggles for all of us to rise above the mundane and embrace the highest principles of truth,” said Lorraine Spiegler, CityDance’s Artistic Director of Studio Education.
Under Ms. Spiegler’s direction, the CityDance Conservatory dancers will perform with singers from School Without Walls Senior High School Concert Choir, which is led by Ms. Joan Moten. The piece will be performed to Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World,” with original choreography by Zac Norten. The dancers performing are Marissa Ajamian, Kelsey Anderson, Taryn Bailey, Gabby David, Alexandra Grayson, Samara Green, Alona Guseva, Kiara Hill, Colleen Hoerle, Katie Koegel, Matthew McLaughlin, Dana Pajarillaga, Kevin Pajarillaga, Julia Schwalb, Ginna Semmes and Adin Walker.
Spiegler also commented, “CityDance’s participation in the National Cathedral King In Our Midst program is our recognition and celebration of Dr. King’s life and mission to achieve equality and justice for all, is one with which we feel centrally aligned, as we have a truly integrated student body–socio-economically, racially and internationally.”
In addition to CityDance, this year, featured groups such as Malcolm X Dancers & Drummers, St. Augustine Gospel Choir, poet Tony Keith, Urban Nation H.I.P.—H.O.P. Choir, and WPAS Children of the Gospel Choir, will also “rock the nave” from 2 to 4 pm.
The Cathedral’s yearly celebration of King’s legacy has expanded over the years to include service projects and interfaith dialogue around the city during the first half of the day that culminate in the afternoon musical event. This event comes nearly 43 years after Dr. King preached what would be his last Sunday sermon from the Cathedral’s Canterbury Pulpit. He was killed in Memphis only four days later.
People from all walks of life will come together to sing, dance and celebrate the legacy of faith and service left by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Short interfaith reflections will be offered in several faith traditions by Buddhist, Jewish and Christian participants during the program.
The afternoon performance will be free and open to the public; attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable canned food item or a new children’s book for admittance. A coat and winter clothing drive is also planned.