As Black History Month comes to a close, YouTube Originals and Google Arts & Culture are presenting a dance-filled virtual celebration. Created in partnership with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Howard University Graduate Film Program and NAL Media, "Black Renaissance," honoring the work of groundbreaking Black changemakers and cultural figures, premieres on February 26 on the YouTube Originals channel. The production's star-studded lineup includes Barack and Michelle Obama, Stacey Abrams and luminaries from the realms of music, concert and commercial dance, social media and beyond.
The roster of appearances from the dance world is robust. Kelly Rowland is slated to recognize the 50th anniversary of Ailey's Cry. Other participants include Childish Gambino's "This Is America" choreographer Sherrie Silver; dancer, florist and former Quibi "Centerpiece" host Maurice Harris, who will pay tribute to activist Marsha P. Johnson; roller skater Oumi Janta, whose dance moves on wheels first captivated the world on social media last summer; and famed digital creators Donté Colley and Yung BBQ, along with celebrated commercial choreographer Jose "Hollywood" Ramos. Creative contributors include the iconic dancemaker and music video director Fatima Robinson, and Elladj Baldé, who rose to fame on TikTok and Instagram for his signature fusion of dance and figure skating. The event will also feature visual artist Shantell Martin, who collaborated with New York City Ballet for its 2019 Art Series.
Black Renaissance: The Art and Soul of our Stories | Official Trailer
Adding to the platform's Black History Month festivities, on February 25, YouTube Originals launches a new episode of "BookTube" with Alicia Garza, principal at Black Futures Lab and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network, to discuss her book The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart.
"Black Renaissance" was developed under the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, which aims to "invest with intention and present fresh narratives that emphasize the intellectual power, authenticity, dignity and joy of Black voices, as well as to educate audiences about racial justice."
The show's celebration of Black dance artists underscores the breadth and depth of Black dancers' contributions to culture at large, and we can't wait to watch.