The Black Cultural Center is bringing the Deeply Rooted dance theater to the Loeb Playhouse.
Deeply Rooted is a group focused on creating experiences that ignite emotions in the audience, rooted in American and African-American dance and storytelling, according to a Purdue press release.
The Chicago-based dance company was founded in New York in 1996. Since then, they have traveled around the world delivering performances of over 20 different shows. Despite the diversity of their repertoire, the show they will perform at Purdue is an entirely new piece.
The performance on Tuesday will feature excerpts from Grammy-Award-winning gospel recording artist Donald Lawrence in a piece called “Goshen.”
“‘Goshen’ tells the story of the Exodus,” said William Caise, interim director of the BCC. “(It is) a celebratory collaboration of gospel music, dramatic narrative and dance theater that’s rooted in the African American tradition.”
Caise said he expected 400-500 people to attend the event, but still felt hesitant due to struggles with the pandemic.
“We’re still in the pandemic,” he said. “So part of the conversations we’ve been having or having up to this point is, ‘Are we back to normal, or are we still dealing with COVID protocols, or are we hybrid?’”
Despite the potential impact of COVID-19 protocols on the venue itself, Caise said that the event would be held regardless of whether it was virtual or in person.
“Whether the show would happen was never a question,” he said. “It was just if there was going to be an audience in the space or not.”
The performance will be held on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m and is the third show performed at Purdue by the company. The program is sponsored by the BCC and the Purdue Musical Organizations and admission is free.
“We are looking at this year as a year of celebration,” Caise said. “Everyone has been experiencing COVID and the pandemic, and what we want to do is offer opportunities for people to come out and experience joy and to celebrate together. We see this event as one of those opportunities.”