Vernard J Gilmore
La Verdad is an all male dance company I have created, dedicated to helping young men discover personal truth through profound observation. Our mission is to explore the truthful essence of a man. Through dance we renew the connection of leadership, create a sense of freedom, and challenge our artists to move past their self-inflicted boundaries. My most recent work “Calling” was completed in the fall of 2011. It’s silent intensity breeds the direction in which my company reaches fearlessly toward. The work itself is about moving forward and acknowledging the choice to do so. The simple truths about the bond of friendship and brotherhood permeates throughout the work. It is this willingness to be true to that bond that elevates ones conscience and speaks through it.
Why do you feel your piece should be included in the Festival?
When I think of Harlem I think of creative genius and thirst. For example the 1920′s and 1930′s, The Harlem Renaissance or the “New Negro Movement” named after the 1925 anthology by Alain Locke echoed a striving to be better and a belief in a life filled with cultural richness. The festival’s mission to inspire and nourish the artistic community through education and entertaining is a further stretch towards a new and continuing renaissance. My company speaks directly to this renaissance by its dedication to helping you men discover personal truth through profound observation and exploring the essence of themselves.
Why do you want to participate in the Harlem Arts Festival?
The history of Harlem is legend. The quality of African American entertainment in Harlem is profound, with poets like Langston Hughes, literary geniuses like W.E.B. Dubois, and music and musicians like Duke Ellington and his song “Take the “A” Train”. Even more exciting for me are dances like “The Big Apple” by Frankie Manning. The brilliance of these creative minds became so important to our country’s history and even inspired beyond our borders to Europe and other countries around the globe. To have the opportunity to stand among these great talents and share my own simple truths is a dream worth working for. The ability to achieve this simple idea is why I want to be a part of the Harlem Arts Festival. The Festival’s commitment to inspire greatness through art is something I believe will change and enlighten us as a culture.