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Meet Tommie-Waheed Evans

By March 23, 2022March 24th, 2022No Comments

2021 Guggenheim Fellow Tommie-Waheed Evans is a queer black dance maker, born and raised in Los Angeles, California, amidst racial divide, gang warfare, and earthquakes. His work explores blackness, spirituality, queerness and liberation. He began his formal training with Karen McDonald before receiving a fellowship at the Ailey School, and a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from Jacksonville University. He has toured and performed nationally and internationally as a company member of Lula Washington Dance Theater, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Philadanco. Since 2004, he has created more than 50 original dance works that range widely in scope, length, tone and subject matter. waheedworks, his Philadelphia based dance company, is the primary vehicle for his creative research. The company’s mission is to create a radically collaborative body of work that speaks to the human condition. His work brings together urban street dance styles and contemporary dance vocabulary through bold and raw movements propelled by gospel music and polyrhythmic sounds.


When did you start dancing?
I started dancing at 15 years old at a small family studio called Dance Connection in Los Angeles. A couple months later I joined the dance department at Alexander Hamilton High School.

How did your experience dancing at PHILADANCO! impact your journey to be a choreographer?
My time at PHILADANCO! was very important because I got to work with so many choreographers—learning about process, composition, structure, and coaching. Every year we would have a weekend of shows called “Danco onDanco” where we would get the chance to choreograph.After one particular year, the founder, Joan Myers Brown,told me I had a great future as a choreographer and encouraged me to take it more seriously. Having that space and such high-quality dancers who believed in me was invaluable.

In three words describe your choreographic style:
Driving, Physical, Moving, Emotional, Freeing, Spiritual. I said more than three!

What was the first work of art that really mattered to you?
My first self-produced concert for my company Waheedworks, Meetings Along the Edge.

How many pieces have you choreographed for the company?
This production will be the fourth I have created on the of Verb.

Every morning I have to _________ before I start my day:
Listen to music loudly and have a cup of coffee or tea.

What community do you call home?
Of course, my family in Los Angeles. But also all the organizations I work with regularly including University of the Arts, PHILADANCO!, and Verb.

Who are some of your major influences?
Alonzo King, Rennie Harris, Dwight Rhoden, Ronald K. Brown, Kanye West, Carrie Mae Weems, and Anne Teresa de Keersmaker.

What is your favorite book or magazine?
All About Love by Bell Hooks and Last Night on Earth by Bill T. Jones.


Friday, April 1, 2022 12:00pm ET
$15 Tickets
In-studio or Livestream

Surge. Capacity. Force. (2017)
Choreographed by Tommie-Waheed Evans

Dark Matter (2013)
Choreographed by Tommie-Waheed Evans

Anti/gone (World Premiere)

Verb presents a powerful new work based on the Ancient Greek tragedy Antigone with choreography by Philadelphia-based artist Tommie-Waheed Evans. Evans, an award-winning choreographer, was recently selected as a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in choreography and is a recipient of a Princess Grace Foundation Award. Using his driving urban contemporary ballet movement aesthetic, Evans will synthesize the current political climate with the classical world of Antigone. The new work, entitled Anti/gone, will situate these ancient archetypes in the contemporary world, ultimately challenging the status quo. The tension between action and fate will come to life with an electrifying, original score by composer Greg Smith, and complemented by costumes created by runway designer Philista Mills.


April 9, 2022 7:00pm
LaSalle Theatre
823 E. 185th St. Cleveland, OH 44119

$35 VIP Seating (Include a drink ticket)
$20 First Balcony / $10 Second Balcony
All seating is general admission


Ticket Levels

$35 VIP Seating (Include a drink ticket)
$20 First Balcony
$10 Second Balcony
All seating is general admission

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