‘Moonshine’ on Feb. 25 will celebrate Black art and dance

The UW–Madison Dance Department and Professor Chris Walker are nothing short of delighted to present "Moonshine," in person on Feb. 25, 2022, at 3:30 p.m., in the Margaret H'Doubler Performance Space, Lathrop Hall. This free event is a move to celebrate Black History Month, with live music, contemporary theater, and dance performances including West African, Afro-Caribbean dancehall, and Hip-Hop dance forms.

This year's "Moonshine" features excerpts from "Summer Somewhere," a new choreographic poem collaboration between special guest Danez Smith, an award-winning poet and graduate of UW–Madison's First Wave  program, and Chris Walker, director of the UW–Madison Division of the Arts and a professor in the Dance Department. The work was first published in Smith's book, "Don't Call Us Dead," which was a finalist for the National Book Award. The piece is currently being workshopped with students and professional artists and will be shown at various stages of development throughout the year.

"Moonshine" continues to feature works by student artists from the Dance Department and the First Wave program. This year, "Moonshine" welcomes Los Angeles-via-Brooklyn producer/dancer HitmakerChinx, choreographer and dancer Stacy Letrice of Jukeboxx Dance, and Chicago dance artist Amansu Eason, who are working with Walker on a "rent-a-tile" section of his new project, "Facing Home: The Climate Crisis." The work explores the relationship between the warrior and the lover and features performances from Letrice, Eason, and HitmakerChinx.

In an effort to expand opportunities for campus and community members to engage with Black art and recognize its contributions to American culture during Black History Month, the Dance Department has partnered with the Division of the Arts and the Wisconsin Union Directorate (WUD) Global Connections Committee to offer a free evening Moonshine Masterclass on Friday evening, Feb. 25, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., in the Madison Room at Memorial Union. The class will be led by Stacy Letrice, Amansu Eason, and HitmakerChinx and will feature West African, Afro-Caribbean dancehall, and Hip-Hop dance forms.

Moonshine is produced by the UW–Madison Dance Department, housed in the School of Education, and made possible with support from the Division of the Arts; WUD Global Connections Committee; Office of Diversity, Equity, and Educational Achievement; Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives; and Black Cultural Center.