June 16 and 17 at 8pm both days
Bayview Opera House Inc. in collaboration with Zaccho Dance Theatre present Flying to Freedom: Celebrating Juneteenth through Aerial Dance, Music, and Theater, a collective reflection on liberation created and performed by Bay Area music, theater, dance and aerial artists and curated by Joanna Haigood. This collaborative production is a reflection on liberation and marks the celebration of the recently enacted federal holiday, Juneteenth, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Featured artists include Steven Anthony Jones, Tossie Long, amara tabor-smith, Veronica Blair, Toni Cannon, Erik Raymond K. Lee, Jason Span, and Zaccho Youth Company.
Juneteenth is a national holiday that celebrates the day (June 19, 1865) that the last enslaved people in Texas were informed of their emancipation, two years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Flying to Freedom: Celebrating Juneteenth through Aerial Dance, Music, and Theater showcases the work and performances of local music, theater, dance and aerial artists reflecting on their own understanding of liberation and responding to creative prompts from Haigood, who is curating the content into a single production.
Theater artist Steve Anthony Jones' contribution, Flying to Freedom, examines the accounts of African Americans who were told stories of Black People who literally flew away to freedom. Aerialist Veronica Blair's contribution is Thank You, Forgiveness!, an aerial silks performance exploring the unpacking of trauma created to heal people in a public space. Aerialist Jason Span's work will be performed on an aerial hoop, demonstrating strength and agility with a sense of weightlessness to evoke the feeling of a bird taking flight, while choreographer Raymond K. Lee's piece explores how persistent faith in God, as exemplified by many civil rights leaders, can lead to freedom and liberation.