Higher Ground


Artists Inspiring Community 



Join the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in celebrating the human spirit, the power of a unified community and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Through Presenting Series visiting artists and screenings in the Browning Cinema, we provide arts engagement to reveal and embrace the many ways we may connect with the arts to grow our capacity to live and flourish together.

Life is more than despair or darkness if we work together for higher goals.


—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 


Fr. Theodore Hesburgh and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Be the kind of person who not only understands the injustices of this life, but is also willing to do something about them.

Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., University of Notre Dame



2017–2018 Higher Ground Events



L.A. Theatre Works presents Katori Hall’s

The Mountaintop

Susan Albert Loewenberg, producing director

On the evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated outside room 306 of The Lorraine Motel in Memphis. What happened inside room 306 the night before the killing is a mystery. In her internationally acclaimed play, The Mountaintop, playwright Katori Hall fantasizes what may have transpired in the overnight hours between the legendary civil rights leader and a seemingly inconsequential hotel maid. Contains mature language.





UZIMA!

African Drumming and Dance Celebration

UZIMA! performs a program of traditional West African dance. Join us for a free community gathering of dance, song, and celebration of life. Learn more about traditional African dance.




 

2016–2017

 


Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Founded by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson (two esteemed alumni of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), Complexions delivers exciting, genre-bending performances that transcend traditions and blur the boundaries of ballet and contemporary.

  • Masterclass/social dance class at Clay High School and Saint Mary’s College
  • Social dance class with community members
  • Lecture & demonstration at Dickinson Intermediate Center
  • Three nights of performance and dialogue at DeBartolo Performing Arts Center
UZIMA!

UZIMA!

African Drumming and Dance Celebration

For the third year, some of our community’s leading artists close our King Week tribute with an African Drumming and Dance Celebration.


2015–2016


Camille A. Brown & Dancers’ Residency


The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center’s arts programs promote engagement in the arts for all Michiana residents. Through Presenting Series visiting artists, such as Camille A. Brown & Dancers, we offer arts engagement to reveal and embrace the many ways we may connect with the arts to grow our capacity to live and flourish together. Here is how Brown and her dance company will engage with youth and adults in our community during their MLK Week residency at Notre Dame.

  • Masterclass/social dance class at Clay High School and Saint Mary’s College
  • Social dance class with community members
  • Lecture & demonstration at Dickinson Intermediate Center
  • Three nights of performance and dialogue at DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Camille Brown Masterclass
Camille Brown Masterclass
Camille Brown Masterclass

Camille Brown Masterclass
Camille Brown Masterclass
Camille Brown Masterclass

Billy Childs

Billy Childs’ 

Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro

featuring Becca Stevens and Alicia Olatuja

In the evening-length concert, the Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer pays homage to one of the greatest singer-songwriters of the ’60s and ’70s by reinterpreting her innovative songbook of jazz, doo-wop, soul, and pop. Kickoff of “Higher Ground: Artists Inspiring Community.”

Made possible by the Teddy Ebersol Endowment for Excellence in the Performing Arts.
Camille A. Brown & Dancers

Camille A. Brown & Dancers

Robert M. and Ricki Conway Dance Series

Using African-American social dancing, rhythmic play and mesmerizing movement, Brown’s new work, BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, opens up a conversation in a society where black women are often portrayed in terms of strength, anger or resilience in the face of trauma or drama. Brown’s choreographic gifts, as well as her theatricality and musicality, reveal the Black girl’s journey as one that has moments of joy, discovery, and heartbreak familiar to all women. Read, watch and listen to learn more in the Resource Guide.



UZIMA!

African Drumming and Dance Celebration

The celebration welcomes community and Notre Dame student performers who offer you African music and dance as a rich cultural expression, one which Camille A. Brown drew on for BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play.

When dancing and drumming were progressively banned during the 18th century, black people used their creativity and inventiveness to employ their bodies as a beatbox for song and dance.




2014–2015


Ronald K. Brown Dance Company Residency


As part of the Higher Ground activities, the New York-based dance company brought its fusion of traditional African and contemporary dance to Notre Dame for the second time in the Presenting Series’ history. Their January 2015 residency included a week of introductory up to advanced dance instruction to the South Bend Community School Corporation’s three arts magnet schools, and master classes for Notre Dame and St. Mary’s dance students.

For one of Brown’s most popular community engagement programs, 16 community participants, ages 10 to 64, were selected in open auditions to rehearse and then perform each night with the troupe during the program’s second half in the piece, On Earth Together, Brown’s buoyant work set to the timeless music of Stevie Wonder.


Ron K. Brown Dance Masterclass
Ron K. Brown Dance Masterclass
Ron K. Brown Dance Masterclass

Ron K. Brown Dance Masterclass
Ron K. Brown Dance Masterclass
Ron K. Brown Dance Masterclass
LATW In the Heat of the Night

L.A. Theatre Works presents John Ball’s

In the Heat of the Night

Susan Albert Loewenberg, producing director Adapted by Matt Pelfrey

In a taut, timely stage adaptation of Ball’s murder mystery, homicide detective Virgil Tibbs and Police Chief Bill Gillespie find this case isn’t as simple as black and white.

Post-performance reception sponsored by Multicultural Student Programs and Services.

Ronald K. Brown, EVIDENCE

Ronald K. Brown | EVIDENCE

Robert M. and Ricki Conway Dance Series

Stories of liberation and peace come to life in dance to the soulful music of artists/activists Nina Simone, Fela Kuti and Stevie Wonder. Featuring local community members. Brown’s inventive fusion of traditional African and modern dance returns, part inspired celebration of the music of Stevie Wonder and featuring community dancers.

Made possible by the Gayle A. and Steven C. Francis Endowment for Excellence in Creativity.



UZIMA!

African Drumming and Dance Celebration

Inspired by Ronald K. Brown | Evidence, clap, stamp your feet or dance! Dance-drumming is a demonstration of the collective will to work together towards a common purpose. Immediately following the Friday performance of Ronald K. Brown | Evidence, we embraced Brown’s ability to transcend differences to achieve something more universally and poetically spiritual while acquainting audiences with the beauty of traditional African forms and rhythms.


There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.

James A. Baldwin



Related Links

An excerpt of Camille A. Brown performing in BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play.

Learn about African dance and dancing to the drum.

Discover the key moment in 1964 that Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., President Emeritus of University of Notre Dame, had with King.