Muntu Dance Theatre Presents “Healing Hearts” Summer Concert

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Third Installation of Unity-Themed Performances

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Photos: Marc Monaghan & Arion Davis

The heart, the universal symbol for love, is the most essential part of all people.

Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago will present "Healing Hearts" on July 18 at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago. This summer's annual concert is the third installation in a series of productions and the culminating triad of Muntu's most recent concerts: Continuum, Lest We Forget, and Healing Hearts.

“Healing Hearts” picks up where “Lest we Forget” left off and focuses on communal healing by coming together as communities and as people of the world, despite various differences. The heart, the universal symbol for love, is the most essential part of all people. That is why the idea of a broken heart is painful, both literally and figuratively. With all of the painfully tumultuous incidents of injustice and civil unrest, there are multitudes of hearts that need healing. Muntu addresses this artistically by exploring various forms of love, acceptance, tolerance, and healing through dance and movement; creating thought provoking content aimed to not only inspire, but hopefully touch the hearts of everyone in the audience.

"Legends" is a tribute to the artistry of Micheal Jackson and is choreographed by Muntu member Amansu Eason. Company artist Idy Ciss will choreograph "Roff," an encore piece revived especially for this production. The company held open auditions earlier in the year and will be introducing new members to the stage.

The one-hour performance begins at 7:00 p.m. A “Healing Hearts After Party" will take place immediately following the concert in the performance penthouse on the 9th floor. Dj Ringo of One Blood Sound will entertain the party goers with various styles of Afro beat, reggae, dance hall, and house music. The Healing Hearts After Party is open to the public.

"Healing Hearts" also has a community engagement component. Muntu has partnered with the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum for a community event that ties into the "Healing Hearts" theme of coming together and encouraging unity within various communities. The Juneteenth Community Re-Commitment Ceremony will take place at the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, located at 10406 S. Maryland Ave, Chicago. The event is free to the public and scheduled June 20 from noon-4:00 p.m. For additional information visit http://www.muntu.com.

Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago was founded in 1972 with the understanding that African art forms should not simply be performed, but presented to audiences in an inclusive and informative manner. It was not good enough to simply showcase various African dance styles and music. The founding members of Muntu became students themselves, studying the origins, meanings, and cultures of the artistic forms they were presenting. They respected the cultural context and historical significance of the African and African-American experience and conveyed it through their art. They understood the importance of learning the names and meanings of the dances and rhythms they performed; and that it should be shared with audiences. This approach added to the authenticity of the organization’s mission as well as an education about the rich history of African culture. Now in its 43rd year as the nation’s longest operating African dance company, Muntu has evolved not only providing high-quality performances but also contributing greatly to arts education initiatives within the city of Chicago.

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