‘Godfather Of Soul’ James Brown’s Music, Moves Inspire Apollo Theater Show
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Harlem’s Apollo Theater will play host to a dance and music performance in honor of the “Godfather of Soul,” James Brown.
The famous theater announced Tuesday it is partnering with the city of Lafayette, La., on “James Brown: Get On the Good Foot – A Celebration in Dance.”
The show is set to premiere on Oct. 22 and will feature dance numbers by six choreographers from around the world. A national tour is planned.
“James called the Apollo his home. He did over 200 performances here. His major album ‘Live At The Apollo,’ which was recorded in 1962 and released in ’63 and this is the 50th anniversary this year, was one of his major pieces. And we decided that this is someone that we had to celebrate,” Apollo Executive Producer Mikki Shepard told WCBS 880.
“Sure, we could do a concert and just have James Brown’s music and have people come in and celebrate him. But we decided that in addition to his music, his movement was amazing and he influenced so many choreographers as well as musicians that we wanted to create a new work, which was really a dance work, celebrating both his movement and his music,” Shepard added.
Six choreographers have been tapped by the Apollo to create works to his music. Two composers have also been commissioned to create additional music that may have been influenced by James Brown, Shepard said.
Dancers from the Philadelphia Dance Company will perform to the “I Feel Good” icon’s music and also to new works influenced by Brown.
“He really was one of the first stars, one of the pioneers around soul music and funk music. And so whether it’s rap, funk, soul, R&B, he’s probably the artist that’s most sampled by rap artists,” Shepard added.
After his death in 2006, Brown’s body lay in repose in the Apollo.
The show will run at the Apollo from Oct. 22 to 26.
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