PLAYBILL: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s “Greenwood”
(download the guide by clicking the image below)
The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, one of the country’s top modern dance troupes, premiered its new ballet, Greenwood, at Manhattan’s City Center in December 2019.
Choreographed by Donald Byrd, the piece chronicles Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District, the site of “Black Wall Street,” an entrepreneurial and business mecca for African Americans, and its cataclysmic destruction in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the worst of America’s twentieth century “race riots.”
Reviewers have noted the juxtaposition of Ailey’s signature elegance of movement against the backdrop of a horrific American tragedy emblematic of the racial violence that characterized early twentieth century America.
Hannibal B. Johnson, Tulsa author, attorney, and consultant, crafted the narrative that accompanies the production on its playbill. In addition, Johnson created a discussion guide that leads patrons on a journey toward understanding and, ultimately, healing, from historical racial trauma.