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CELEBRATING Over 20 Years of Dance & Legacy!
2023 The Josephine Baker Legacy Award--Honoree Tina Thompson
Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, to a washerwoman and vaudeville performer. Having experienced the horrors of the East St. Louis riots in 1917, she embraced her talents as a way out of discrimination and poverty. Baker began her career by performing in vaudeville showcases around the country and was soon offered a chance to perform in Paris in La Revue Nègre. Once the Revue closed, Baker was given her own show and from there her career skyrocketed. She was the first African American woman to star in a motion picture, to perform with an integrated cast at the American concert hall, and one of the first African American entertainers who achieved acclaim both in movies and on the stage. Modern biographies and interviews with her son have explored Baker’s sexuality and found that she had relationships with both men and women throughout her lifetime. SKIN is for ALL, we embrace equity, inclusion and the artistic freedoms of every artist.
You take the physical techniques of ballet and lay the expressive modern dance idioms on that muscular base. Mix in the influence of African American culture and experience. Add some profound musical choices. THAT is SKIN-TTDC. I get it and am not going to miss that show. - MATTHEW LEPOLD
She has carved her own technique, 'Spirit Technique' paying homage to the ancestry of Dance, Uniqueness of its kind! - Edward Villella
The energy and intimacy your company generated in that space was transformative. Josephine's Cotton: The Revue was moving, entertaining, inspiring, and powerful.
- Rylee Eterginoso, Staten Island Museum
Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean,
don't you know Butterflies all havin' fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done That's what I mean
And this old world is a new world
And a bold world For me
Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine And I know how I feel” ― Nina Simone
There is great power in understanding your identity. Knowing your true identity will shape your thoughts and actions. Our world contains more information than any other period of history. This is a blessing but can also be a curse. With the overload of information, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish truth. The beautiful thing is that you get to decide what you want to believe. You get to decide what you want to be. I choose to believe that we all share the same core origins. I would argue that the stronger the foundation of your identity that is rooted in being a child of God, the stronger your self-worth becomes. The stronger your sense of self-worth becomes, the less insecure, defensive, and fearful you will be. This is my core identity: I am a Child of God. I have 100% worth. I have unlimited potential. I have the ability to seek knowledge. I have the ability and the right to make choices. I have a will to master. I can control thoughts, emotions, appetites, and passions. I have a right to worship God and can seek power from him to fulfill my destiny. Let's share our gifts!
HONOR is a man's greatest achievement not his popularity. Athlete of God, Dancer, Mentor, Muse, Choreographer, Educator, Artistic Director and Fitness Guru are a just a few accomplishments that Tina Thompson has been recognized for in the community. With all of her accomplishments, awards and accolades she has received; first she is a Woman of God. Tina Thompson believes that God has given us divine gifts and we have to share it in order to prosper mentally, physically and spiritually. Tina Thompson is a Dance Choreographer and well-respected fitness ambassador professional in New York City. Her background includes Full Scholarships/ Professional training and Performance experience at all Four institutions of Dance: Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Dance Theater of Harlem and the Juilliard School. Tina Thompson has served as a director of SKIN- The Tina Thompson Dance Company (established in 2003) for over a decade. The company is based in New York City and Thompson's works have graced the stage of the Blumenthal Arts Center, Ailey Citi-Group Theater, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Symphony Space, New York Institute for Dance Education, Aaron Davis Hall and Dance Parade Gala and the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture. SKIN DANCE company is vehicle for artistic value and self-expression through the language of movement arts. Tina Thompson seeks to provide the opportunities, challenges, infrastructures for personal growth to its artists, students, community and future generations to come. Tina Thompson believes dance is a universal language by storytelling through movement. Her vision is to touch the audience members physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Having choreographed over 22 Modern-Ballet works/ Thompson's choreography touches matters of the emotions and the state of the world politically, socio-economically and spiritually. Tina Thompson helps spread her knowledge of her created Dance Fitness Fusions by teaching dance workshops and fitness events throughout the Tri-State Area. She has been a leader in the Competitive Fitness world for a decade. She has numerous titles in World/ National Fitness and physique competitions. Thompson has represented MS. FITNESS WORLD as an ambassador for the United States. She is the first ever performed fitness routine in a national/world competition En Pointe. Her contribution of fitness in the community has been life changing for people who have stumbled through many obstacles in their life when it comes to their health.
Travel back in time through song and dance to join Josephine Baker, the first Black American superstar, as she dives deeper into the experiences of her childhood and adult life. Through a series of reflections, she re-imagines a world that could have existed during the Harlem Renaissance featuring icons such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, Sam Cooke, Eartha Kitt, Carmen Miranda, Paul Robeson, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, Duke Ellington, Dorothy Dandridge, Edith Piaf, Ben Vereen, and more.
This fictional portrayal captures the timeless stories of potent pioneers through dance, humor and song.
This show is encompassed with multi-talented artistry and ingenuity of Harlem in the 20s,30s 40s and 50s Cotton Club era and beyond with a multimedia presentation of timeless pioneers!
Experience a revue of the Harlem Renaissance era, REIMAGINED! Produced, directed, choreographed, and conceptualized by Tina Thompson
"Every Pioneer will leave his/her legacy with a 7th sense"- Tina Thompson
“Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.” ― Rumi
My jump isn't high enough, my spins aren't perfect, I can't put my leg behind my ear, please don't do that. Sometimes there is such an obsession with technique that it can kill your best impulses. Remember that communicating with an art form means being vulnerable, being imperfect. And most of the time it's much more interesting. Believe me ". - BARYSHNIKOV
But he knows the way that I take. when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. - Job 23:10
The energy and intimacy your company generated in that space was transformative. Josephine's Cotton: The Revue was moving, entertaining, inspiring, and powerful. -
Rylee Eterginoso, Staten Island Museum
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our Goal In the pursuit of its dreams and its elite production etiquette, SKIN strives to position itself in the community as a responsible proponent of change and fearless integrity to the arts. Our Values are to uphold the integrity of our creative process; To recognize and respect each person's contribution to our body of movement language; To extend the limits of the possible; To draw our inspiration from artistic and cultural diversities; To encourage and promote the potential everyone in the world deserves!
Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker (1906–1975) was an African American dancer and singer who was “the most successful music hall performer ever to take the stage” (Ebony magazine). Josephine Baker was larger than life: She was the toast of Paris in the 1920s with her trademark banana skirt, a star of stage and screen in the 1930s; a Red Cross volunteer and undercover agent for the French Resistance during World War II; a participant in the 1963 Civil Rights Movement March on Washington; and star of several farewell (and comeback) tours in the 1960s and 70s. Baker adopted 12 children of different races, nationalities and religions, and called them her “Rainbow Tribe,” Baker's utopian dream of multiracial unity.
Individuals who have learned to endure and persevere through the storms of hardships are those who can dance in the rain during a storm." ~ Ellen J. Barrier
Tina Thompson is an Executive Producer, Artistic Director, Choreographer, Writer, Performing Arts Educator and well-respected fitness professional in New York City. She has won numerous arts council awards for choreography and fellowships in Dance. Her background includes full scholarships/ professional training and performance experience at all four institutions of Dance; Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Juilliard and alumni of the Long Island University where she also received an arts scholarship in Dance Leadership. She helps spread her knowledge by teaching dance workshops and fitness events throughout the Tri-State Area. Her Choreography has been set on music artists and dancers locally and internationally.
She has been a leader in the Competitive Fitness world for over a decade. She has numerous titles in World/ National Fitness and physique competitions. She has been a MS. FITNESS USA ambassador for the United States. She has been the fitness coordinator for many private and commercial health facilities in NYC. Tina Thompson is currently working in arts education and producing pilots entitled UNDANCED & Beauty in The Spirit Podcast. For Tina Thompson, it’s about removing the barriers that have been blocks in your life in order to move forward. One of her favorites quotes are: “Pain is the reaction of the body, as long as you have the body, some pain is inevitable. Suffering is the contraction of the mind, and unlike pain, is optional. Don't add suffering to pain". Excellence is her bar so people setting obstacles for this woman of color is nothing new. #Takeanumber
Let No Man Curse what God has Blessed!
How can you ever forget the people who saw the greatness in you long before you knew greater self? How can you reclaim their intention with gratefulness and acknowledgement? Easy, keep their legacy alive respectfully. They were lifting you high and granting you opportunity amongst greats when none would. Their gift and love surpasses all. This serves as only a tribute to his Legacy. -
BRUCE ANTHONY DAVIS-******** He was very well known for his career as a Broadway star, singer, dancer and actor appearing in plays Chicago, Damn Yankees, The High Rollers and All That Jazz. He left home at age 13 to pursue his career and graduated from the Duke Ellington School of Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
"Who I am on stage is very, very different to who I am in real life."
"Power means happiness; power means hard work and sacrifice."
20 Years of Excellence!
Improving diversity knowledge is a required component of every company. With more and more businesses having global presence workplace diversity is a forgone conclusion. By implementing our SKIN Dance Arts Initiative Your participants will be able to use strategies to be proactive and remove barriers.
We take pride in being able to create and be Authentic in everything we do. Our gifts are many and therefore we serve no need to replicate or duplicate ANYONE ELSE. Our sponsors will be shown how to build and encourage diversity in their schools, workplace and community.
Arts in education is an expanding field of educational research and practice informed by investigations into learning through arts experiences. In this context, the arts can include Performing arts education (dance, drama, music), literature and poetry, storytelling, Visual arts education in film, craft, design, digital arts, media and photography.
"It is not my problem where it touches them, but I am pleased that it touches them!"
~ Nina Simone
Dance is for everybody.
I believe that the dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people".
“I do not try to dance better than anyone else, I only try to dance better than myself”
"When the technique subsides, raw appeal leads, and nobody is conscientious...
"YOUR ACTIONS CREATE YOUR LEGACY NOT THE NAME BEHIND YOU!"
SKIN with Artistic Director, Tina Thompson & Dr. Hazel Dukes, President of NAACP
Dr. Hazel N. Dukes is President of the NAACP New York State Conference and a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors, a member of the NAACP Executive Committee and well as an active member of various NAACP board sub-committees. Dr. Dukes is a woman of great strength and courage. Her dedication to human rights and equality is exemplified by her role linking business, government and social causes. Dr. Dukes is an active and dynamic leader who is known for her unselfish and devoted track record for improving the quality of life in New York State. A harsh system of civil and human injustice persists; intimidation, violence, and the recent rash of “nooses,” speak to the widespread de facto absence of a civil and human rights agenda in America says Dukes, and the fires of frustration continue to burn. Dr. Dukes is President of the Hazel N. Dukes & Associates Consultant Firm, specializing in the areas of public policy, health and diversity. Dr. Dukes is a member of the Assembly of Prayer Baptist Church where she served as Executive Assistant to the Pastor, is a member of the Board of Trustees and teaches the Adult Sunday School.
Dr. Dukes is the recipient of numerous awards for her outstanding leadership activities, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, YWCA City of New York John La Farge Memorial Award for Interracial Justice, Guy R. Brewer Humanitarian Award, and the 2007 The Network Journal’s 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business Award, member Ford Motor Company Funds Committee of Honor for Freedom’s Sisters, was honored and received a Proclamation at the New York City Council’s Third Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Awards ceremony at City Hall in New York. Dukes is an active member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Northern Manhattan Alumnae Chapter and has been selected to receive the sorority’s Althea T.L. Simmons Social Action Award in August 2010. Dr. Dukes was Incorporated in 2007 as a Pi Eta Kappa Fellow and her biography has been selected for publication in many journals and directories including Fisk University Library, Minority Women Contribution, American Biographical Institute Personalities of Northeast, Who’s Who Among American Women and Who’s Who Among Black Women. “
. . . if I can help somebody as I pass along; then my living shall not have been in vain.”
IN JOSEPHINE'S COTTON- THE REVUE (A New Musical),
THE FIRST BLACK AMERICAN SUPERSTAR DIVES DEEPER INTO HER CHILDHOOD, ADULT LIFE EXPERIENCES AND REFLECTIONS THROUGH IMAGINING A WORLD THAT MIGHT EXIST DURING THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE MOVEMENT. THE STORIES OF PIONEERS ARE TIMELESS AND SURE TO CAPTURE AUDIENCES GLOBALLY. JOSEPHINE'S EXPERIENCES WITH A CAST OF EXUBERANT INFLUENTIAL ICONS WILL PROVE TO BE TIMELY AS THEY ARE POTENT.
Saturday May 19, 2018 we'll make history -- rain or shine -- as 10,000 dancers light up New York City with 83 Styles of dance! At 21st & Broadway, catch the ribbon cutting ceremony starting at 12:30pm, with all the advocates that have worked hard to repeal the 1926 Cabaret Law: Norman Siegel, Mercedes Ellington, Josephine Baker and performance by the Skin Dance Company. Mickela Mallozzi will cut the ribbon to kick off the day's theme, "The Cabaret of Life!" Passing the Grandstand in Astor Place, Emcee's Jerry Goldman and Rhina Valentin add color to the already colorful display of culture and diversity. As the parade ends at Avenue A in Tompkins Square Park, DanceFest celebrates dance like never before. Pirate Ship DJs, Choreography on Main, Family and Aerial stages as well as dance lessons by the city's best teaching artists. And there's the Cabaret After Life Party too...Read on and feel joy... Because it WON'T be a royal wedding - It WILL be a Unity through Dance!-
-Greg Miller (Executive Director of Dance Parade)
Hi Tina, I was so blessed to witness and share in the joy of seeing your dance company perform. I have some photos that I wanted to share with you. I captured some nice shots of your company.I plan to do a dance series of paintings over the months ahead and some of the paintings will be based on SKIN. Thank you for your spirit, thank you for you & your dancers heartbeats! Thank you for the movement that awakens us to our internal rhythm. Thank you for calling the bottom of our soles back down to earth, where we sometimes forget that is the deep roots from which we grow ...no matter our heritage for roots intertwine and we are enriched by each others flow. - Marcy Morris
Performing Ms. Tina Thompson's choreography requires for you to be a deliverer and a projector. She always says, "I'd rather you give me too much than too little." SKIN has a spiritual energy that allows us to feed off of one another. We also get energy from pure enjoyment of the song that we're dancing to. It increases our vibe. The feedback that we get from the audience during our performance definitely amplifies our energy level. The Energy is simply infectious.
'SKIN DANCE COMPANY'S PERFORMANCE WAS JUST ELECTRIC!- FIRE ISLAND BLACKOUT
Evolution Project is a reflection in human psyches through division of shared emotions, Joy, fear, insecurity, anxiety, vulnerability and strengths. Standing on the shoulders of those before us give hope and design greater destinies for those to come. At times in life, we are all against obstacles but where we allow them to manifest depends on the power in ourselves. (Below; Company in 'Constellation')