Nationally recognized choreographer Lonnie J. Hightower III, 1999 YoungArts winner in dance and Presidential Scholar in the Arts, presents OKeeffe and the Line of Dance on March 4 at The Phillips Collection
. This dance interpretation of Georgia OKeeffes radical abstract paintings launches the partnership between The Phillips Collection and YoungArts, the core program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts.
Hightower choreographed OKeeffe and the Line of Dance in response to the Phillipss current exhibition Georgia OKeeffe: Abstraction. He was inspired by the dynamic relationship between Georgia OKeeffe and Alfred Stieglitz and its effect on OKeeffes art. Hightower has invited Amanda Kay Vercamen, the 2010 YoungArts winner in dance to perform with him. The dancers will be accompanied by the acapella vocals of Ashlee Luna Searles, 1999 YoungArts winner in theater.
The Phillips owes much of its diverse programming to valuable partnerships with other institutions. Our relationship with YoungArts provides an opportunity to introduce new performers to the museum and showcase fresh voices in the arts community. We look forward to fostering this relationship with YoungArts in programs to come, said Dorothy Kosinski, director of The Phillips Collection.
I am absolutely delighted to be partnering with such an esteemed organization as The Phillips Collection. Their museum is renowned worldwide, and YoungArts is fortunate to be able to provide our alumni with the opportunity to be involved with such a fantastic cultural mainstay. I look forward to a long-lasting partnership, said Christina DePaul, president and CEO of YoungArts.
Dallas native Lonnie J. Hightower III began his artistic career as a classical and jazz vocalist, and was a member of the National Honor Choir. He attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, studying classical voice and dance/choreography and working with artists including Vanessa Williams, Ann Reinking, and Gregory Hines. President Bill Clinton presented Hightower his Presidential Scholar in the Arts medallion in 1999. The following year he began attending California Institute of the Arts and auditioning for dance companies, working with Contemporary Ballet Dallas, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and New York Baroque. In 2004 he founded a dance company, Images Contemporary Dance Company. He has also worked as a solo artist and with television programs such as American idol and So You Think You Can Dance. Hightower currently lives in Orlando, where he has worked with the cast of
The Lion King and taught dance.
As part of this new relationship, The Phillips Collection will feature YoungArts alumni in performances at the museum throughout 2010. The next YoungArts alumni performance is a Sunday Concert on April 4 by Ricardo Morales, 1989 Presidential Scholar in the Arts and principal clarinet for The Philadelphia Orchestra.