Choreographed by Sherese Campbell, City Dance Company, and Chris Thomas, SonKiss’d Dance Theater
2 Girls Who Travel decided to do something a little different this past Sunday. We went to the ballet, but not your typical ballet. This was Urban Ballet. Think trained dancers moving to Tupac’s greatest hits. As we waited for the show to start, we wondered exactly what it would be like, but once the music started and the dancers hit the stage, we were mesmerized. We found ourselves singing to our favorite Pac songs from back in the day, like Me Against the World, Dear Mama and So Many Tears. The dancers were fantastic. Our eyes dotted across the stage to each one and we were hooked. Then the pièce de résistance – some excellently dope poetry. Before we knew it, they were taking their final bow.
Hats off to City Dance Studio Artistic Director Sherese Campbell and guest artist/choreographer Chris Thomas for a phenomenal show.
There are two more shows this weekend, and we highly recommend you attend one of them. You will not be disappointed. The show times are Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 2:30 pm at the Houston City Dance Studio, located at 1307 W. Clay. For more information, be sure to visit http://www.houstoncitydance.com.
2 Girls Who Travel interviewed City Dance Company’s Artistic Director, Sherese Campbell. Check out our conversation below.
Q & A:
2 Girls Who Travel: How did this project get off the ground?
Sherese Campbell: In order to receive the City of Houston Initiative Mayoral Grant, I had to go in front of a board to actually be approved to apply and once they decided the project was worthy of it, we then did the grant. I had a good feeling we would get it, because it is profound … that’s how I got the grant and we’ll be doing four more performances in 2017 because they want people to see it. And we’re excited about that!
2 Girls Who Travel: Being inspired by Tupac’s music, we imagine it was probably a bit of opposition from some. How did you handle that?
Sherese Campbell: In regards to opposition, I did get questions about whether or not I was going to censor the music – absolutely not. I mean if anybody knows me, it would have been an atrocity to do this to this guy’s music when it’s so honest, so real and so clear.
I read something that Omar Epps, his friend [said]. Someone asked what [Tupac] would be doing today. Epps said he probably would be a politician or a writer. I think that’s true about Tupac because he had a lot of knowledge … I find that interesting and more than that I find it really interesting that on one hand he’s talking about thugging and getting with women, but all through his music he had such an affinity for God and such a love of going through the pearly gates. That has interested me more than anything.
That’s why I was driven to do this project. I just woke up one day and said I’m going to do this project and then before I knew it I was going to write his foundation. They closed his foundation in Atlanta and then maybe a couple weeks later, his mother died on my mother’s birthday, May 2, and I was like it’s a sign. My mother has been dead 29 years and I found that to be incredibly poignant. I’ve always loved his music, I think people find that hard to believe and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s the kind of family I come from, but it’s fabulous.