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Two extraordinary dancers, Brian “Hannibal” Newby of Rennie Harris RHAW and Miami-native Robert Battle— soon to become the next artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater— were in town recently while their respective companies were performing at the Adrienne Arsht Center. They both took time out of their busy schedules to give master classes to the South Florida dance community.
At the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in Northwest Miami, Hannibal gave a room full of 10 – 16-year-olds a lesson in dance history and dance moves— hip-hop, tap, break, pop and lock. All the while, a group of 2- and 3-year-olds watched intently. Incredibly, the youngsters hung on every word and picked up every dance move with ease. After the group had the routine down, Hannibal instructed them—in true RHAW style—how to battle on the dance floor. Two groups of dancers faced off for battle. Luckily, both emerged victors! RHAW master class = success!
Meanwhile, students, dancers and local fans arrived at the Center’s Peacock Foundation Studio for Robert Battle’s master class, ready to learn from a master choreographer. Those in attendance got to experience a smidgen of what Alvin Ailey performers experience every day. In celebration of Battle’s career, Misty Brown, Chief of Staff for Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson, presented Battle with the Distinguished Visitor plaque and the Key to the City! All in attendance were honored to be present at such a great event.
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