AWN Weekly Roundup April 11

COURTESY OF SHARIF WALKER

Chicago, IL: Today, Pyramid Players Productions (P3), a not for profit organization supporting the arts and sports in Chicago’s Austin community announced the annual spring concert of Chicago dance company Move Me Soul (MMS) entitled “In Tribute: A Celebration of Life”. The performance will take place on April 11, 2014 (6:00 pm curtain) at the historical Martin Luther King auditorium housed within Austin Business and Entrepreneurship Academy at 231 N. Pine, Chicago, IL 60644. The concert will showcase the MMS dancers, a troupe consisting of highly skilled teen and dynamic collegiate dancers.

Currently the Austin community has very few resources dedicated to quality arts and sports programming for youth. This performance reflects part of P3’s strategy to cultivate and highlight the talents of Austin youth while making use of rich but underutilized spaces. In addition to the performing, P3 positions graduate dancers as “dance mentors” with local elementary schools and community organizations. MMS alumni offer dance instruction to school-aged youth while also mentoring them along their educational track towards eighth grade, high school and ultimately college graduation.

Move Me Soul is led by artistic director Ayesha Jaco and enters its seventh season performing primarily in the Austin community but also in other Chicagoland locations. Early performances were for extremely modest audiences of approximately 75 people in year one increasing slowly through the years. In the spring of 2013 MMS drew its largest audience so far of just over 350 excited family members, friends, supportive school personnel and Austin residents. P3’s goal for this spring’s performance is to seat 1,000 guests.

P3 Founder and Austin resident Sharif Walker said “A show of support that size would have a monumental effect on the psyche of our young dancers. It would really help accentuate the importance of their work and bring much needed recognition to young people living in a community like Austin where the bar for youth is set way to low but also in a city like Chicago where young people are often portrayed nationally as low achievers or failures.”