Tina Thompson-Pope, Executive Director/ Producer/ Choreographer/Founder

Josef Woodson, Associate Choreographer/ Managing Director

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. What is the Harlem she reimagines?

Through a series of reflections, fierce choreography and elaborate costuming Tina Thompson as Josephine Baker revises and 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, drama and song simply called THEATRE!

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

Produced, directed, choreographed and conceptualized by Tina Thompson

Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1906 to Carrie McDonald, a washerwoman and Eddie Carson, a vaudeville drummer. From a young age shetook up domestic work for white families in St. Louis, but by 14 was already taking to the stage. She toured the US with The Dixie Steppers in 1919, and garnered a reputation as an excellent chorus girl, whose dancing ability and comic expression were equally matched. But it was Paris, not the US, where Baker would become a star. When she travelled to Paris in 1925, aged 19, she found that racial segregation, which was part of everyday life in the US, was not the case in France. What had held her back in her fatherland, making her unable to perform to mixed audiences, did not exist in France. She quickly found a different life in Paris, where hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues weren’t segregated, and it was here that she truly made her name, and indeed her home. Baker opened in La Revue Nègre in Paris, and was an instant success. Her erotic and exotic style of dancing wowed the audience, kick-starting her incredible career.

When La Revue Nègre closed, Baker went on to star in La Folie du Jour at the Folies Bergère. It was here that her banana dance first captured the imagination of Parisian audiences, and has since come to encapsulate Baker and her exotic appeal. Baker emerged on the stage of the Folies Bergère scantily clad in a skirt of made of artificial bananas. The image was immortalized in Paul Colin’s poster, and has been reproduced many times since then. The V&A Museum in London, for example, holds a remarkable statue of Baker in her dress, created by Fritz Lampl around 1930. In more recent culture, Baker and her banana dress continue to be brought to life, appearing in multiple films and cultural productions, including Sylvain Chomet’s Les Triplettes de Bellville, where she takes to the stage alongside the triplets of his story. Away from the stage, Baker became the first African-American woman to star in an international film, La Sirene de Tropiques, and continued her entertainment career with recordings, firmly placing her as an all-round entertainer, who would later go on to perform sell out shows at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Baker was also something of a businesswoman, setting up her own nightclub, Chez Josephine, in Paris in 1926. Her talents, and Paris’s love for her went well beyond the banana dress that made her so famous.

SKIN Theatre Childrens Arts Initiative


In Josephine's Cotton- The Revue, 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. Imagine All of the Icons Meeting the Great Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, Harry Belafonte, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Carmen Miranda, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Eartha Kitt & More!

This fictional portrayal through 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 as timely as they are potent. Where legends collide!


With the repeal of the repressive Cabaret Laws that had been a thorn in the side of club goers for a century, New York City took to the streets to dance in the rain.

In spite of torrential rain, the mood of the marchers in New York City’s 2018 Dance Parade couldn’t have been more celebratory. Following the recent repeal of the Cabaret Laws that plagued New York City for nearly a century with a repressive policy towards dancing, the activists and dancers who created the parade beamed with triumph. Now in its 12th year, the parade has grown from a grassroots idea into one of the most vibrant cultural events in the city calendar. The group behind the parade is Metropolis in Motion, a nonprofit organization founded in 2006 by New York City residents who believed that the right to dance should not be restricted or hindered. While at its core an activist movement, the parade has gained, by design, decidedly more recognition as a cultural event. It is, after all, a celebration of dancing.


Yana Landowne, a member of Metropolis in Motion and now co-chair of the Dance Parade, said, “We realized as a parade we could not be solely about the Cabaret Laws. We spoke about them, and anyone participating could protest against them, but we as an organization were focused on being cultural, focusing on everyone feeling celebrated and being able to share that.” With this wider focus, the parade has never been more varied, with over 83 different dances being represented, the parade has seen its reach grow to as many as 10,000 people. The year’s rain-drenched festivities began with an nostalgic swing dance by the Skin Dance Company, featuring a vibrant tribute to Josephine Baker. After a few remarks and a ritual ribbon cutting ceremony by New York’s nightlife crusaders including Norman Siegel, Jerry Goldman, and one of the lead advocates for the repeal of the Cabaret Law, and nightlife mayor Ariel Patiz, the first wave of dancers rhumba’d down the street, with colorful and elaborate floats following close behind.

Document clambered up and onto one these floats and set off down Broadway at an even pace. Twerking and vibrating with makeshift sequin tails, the other passengers on the float, dressed as bawdy mermaids and pirates, cast their siren calls to the dancing crowds around them, all while sipping cranberry moonshine, their drink of choice. After making its way down to Tompkins Square Park, the float docked in the basketball court where a makeshift stage and DJ area had been erected. As performers from the parade trickled in, drenched but jubilant, the park was transformed into a verdant paradise, a multicultural rainbow that only New York can deliver. While great steps have been made for New York City’s nightlife with the Cabaret Law repeal, the work for this group of activists is not quite over, with the next challenge being to change the zoning restrictions and strident New York liquor licensing laws. At the end of the day though, there was no thought on work left to do, just the indomitable New York spirit in full force.




It is a common mistake to gauge the vitality of the American professional theater solely or even primarily by Broadway. No one would judge American writing only by the best seller list, American movies solely by the week’s top grossing film, or music merely by the groups that can fill a football stadium. Similarly theater is not described by its commercial operations alone.

We are convinced that the heart of American theater is the not-for-profit theater. Commercial theater gets the greatest attention in the popular press because of the size of its budgets, the concentration of activity on Broadway and environs, and the availability of the national media headquartered in Manhattan. By contrast the impact of any one not-for-profit theater is usually felt within a single community. Since theater is distinguished by being a live event, no other media can duplicate the aesthetic experience of theater. Thus, for many people, the not-for-profit theater is their main access to the theater experience.

Though it was once primarily a place where musicals and boulevard comedies went after they left Broadway, the not-for-profit theater is increasingly an important cultural engine developing new plays and musicals. It is the rare successful

Broadway show that originates on Broadway. We looked at the origins of Broad- way openings in the 2006–7 and 2007–8 seasons as examples. Of thirty-three openings in 2007, sixteen originated in the not-for-profit theater, and seven were imported from abroad. New Broadway productions in 2008 totaled thirty-two, of which nineteen were from not-for-profit theaters and five were from abroad.

In 2006–7, of fourteen shows that Variety, the primary trade journal of the entertainment industry, labeled flops, six originated on Broadway. Of eight shows labeled as hits, two originated on Broadway. Not-for-profit sources of hit shows included the La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego; Alliance Theatre, Atlanta; and Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles.

The Tony Awards for 2004 were a minisweep for the not-for-profit theater: best musical, best play, best revival of a musical, and best revival of a play all went to not-for-profit theaters or shows that originated in not-for-profit theaters. Between 1999–2000 and 2007–8, 61 percent of the “Best . . .” Tony Awards went to not-for-profit productions or not-for-profit originated productions, and 17 per- cent went to productions originating abroad. Fewer than one-quarter of these superlative kudos—22 percent—went to shows originating on Broadway.



Copyrighted Material/ SKIN Dance Company/ Affiliates Usage Only

In Josephine's Cotton- The Revue, 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. Imagine All of the Icons Meeting the Great Josephine, Billie Holiday, Sam Cooke, Eartha Kitt, Carmen Miranda & More! This fictional portrayal through 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 as timely as they are potent.



Josephine's Cotton THE REVUE- Produced by Tina Thompson


Photography by Andrew Mark Williams

Set Design by Lance Pope

Costume Design by Tina Thompson/ Jessica Morales

Assistant Choreographers: Josef Woodson/ Natasha DeVaughn

Public Relations: Charlotte Allen

Wardrobe Assistant: Luke Destin


Tina Thompson-Pope

Jessica Morales

Josef Woodson

Natasha DeVaughn

Joi Favor 

Kiara Brown

Ronald Belger

Charles Carter

Lance Pope

Thomas Matthew Shands

Nia Simone

Jade Roberts

Katie Oliver-Reyes

Luke Destin

A New Musical Produced, Conceptualized and Choreographed by

Tina Thompson-Pope

Special Guest Performers/ Choreographer's

Set to Music from Various New Pioneer Artists


In Greek mythology, Terpsichore is one of the nine Muses and goddess of dance and chorus. She lends her name to the word "terpsichorean" which means "of or relating to dance". She is usually depicted sitting down, holding a lyre, accompanying the dancers' choirs with her music. Her name comes from the Greek words τέρπω ("delight") and χoρός ("dance"). She was also said to be the mother of the Sirens and Parthenope by Achelous. In some accounts, she bore the Thracian king Biston by Ares.