Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre (NBT) presented the world premiere of 125th & FREEdom on June 8. Created, written and choreographed by Ebony Noelle Golden, 125th & FREEdom is a five-hour, immersive public performance dance piece that is part dance party, part parade, part protest and ritual performance, and all Harlem.
Exploring the question, “If Harriet Tubman were alive today, how would she free Black people?” the program transforms Harlem’s iconic corridor into a stage with performances along 125th Street from the East River to the Hudson River.
Composed of 16 movements and featuring a New Orleans-style brass band, the choreopoetic performance takes place at 11 sites as pop-up installations along the world famous street. An immersive, audience-participatory cultural experience, 125th & FREEdom sees a victorious, but battle-weary tribe of nomads led by Tubman’s descendant on an epic journey to a land of promised liberation.
Fusing song and poetry with choreography based on historic and current Black social dances, the one-of-a-kind event closes out NBT’s milestone golden anniversary season.