Cleo Parker Robinson

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Cleo Parker Robinson
Born (1948-07-17)July 17, 1948
Denver, Colorado
Nationality American
Alma mater The University of Denver
Occupation Modern dance choreographer
Website https://www.cleoparkerdance.org/

Cleo Parker Robinson (born July 17, 1948 in Denver, Colorado) is an American dancer and choreographer. She is most known for being the founder, namesake and executive creative director of the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. She was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame in 1989,[1] and named to the National Council on the Arts by President Bill Clinton in 1999.[2] In 2005 she also received a Kennedy Center Medal of Honor during the Center's "Masters of African American Choreographers" series.[3]

Early life

Parker Robinson is the daughter of an African-American actor and a white musician. She faced extreme prejudice while growing up in 1950s Denver.[4] At the age of 10 she nearly died in Dallas when a segregated hospital refused to admit her for a kidney condition quickly enough to prevent heart failure. Doctors expected her to be bedridden the rest of her life. She overcame the condition and threw herself into dancing in order to overcome the pain from the physical condition and emotional challenges of dealing with racism.[5] By age 15 she was already teaching University level dance classes at the University of Colorado.[6] She graduated from Colorado Women's College, now known as the University of Denver.[7]

Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble

She is most noted for founding the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble in 1970.[8] The ensemble is widely respected and recognized. It has toured internationally, performed at the Lincoln Center and received coverage and positive reviews from the New York Times,[9] Washington Post,[10][11] and LA Times[12] Representative Mark Udall gave tribute to the ensemble on the floor of the US House of Representatives in 2005 to honer its 35th anniversary.[13]

Notable performers with the ensemble have included Nejla Y. Yatkin, Cornelius Carter, Germaul Barnes and Leni Williams.[14] They have also worked with costume designer Mary Jane Marcasiano. [15]

One of her more notable artistic creations is "Lush Life," a jazz, poetry and dance collaboration she created together with Maya Angelou.[16][17]

External links

  • Official Website of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance

References

  1. ^ "Cleo Parker Robinson – Colorado Women's Hall of Fame". Colorado Women's Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  2. ^ https://clinton6.nara.gov/1998/09/1998-09-16-two-members-named-to-national-council-on-the-arts.html
  3. ^ "Martin Luther King Tribute". Westword. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  4. ^ Ritzel, Rebecca (March 13, 2016). "Some solid moves from Cleo Parker Robinson Dance". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  5. ^ "Cleo Parker Robinson | The HistoryMakers". www.thehistorymakers.com. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  6. ^ Feinstein, Lois. "Cleo Parker Robinson". denverwoman.com. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  7. ^ http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/cleo-parker-robinson-39
  8. ^ Ritzel, Rebecca (March 13, 2016). "Some solid moves from Cleo Parker Robinson Dance". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  9. ^ Seibert, Brian (August 13, 2012). "Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble at Lincoln Center". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  10. ^ Ritzel, Rebecca (March 13, 2016). "Some solid moves from Cleo Parker Robinson Dance". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  11. ^ "Cleo Parker Robinson Dance in 'Move: from the inside out'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  12. ^ VOGT, KATHERINE (October 29, 2000). "In Step With 'Divine Destiny'". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  13. ^ Congressional Record, V. 151, Pt. 15, September 8 to September 22, 2005. Government Printing Office. 
  14. ^ "Leni Wylliams, 35, Dancer and teacher". The New York Times. September 29, 1996. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  15. ^ https://cfda.com/members/profile/mary-jane-marcasiano
  16. ^ "Denver dance legend Cleo Parker Robinson, Maya Angelou had long ties – The Denver Post". Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
  17. ^ "Denver choreographer recalls dancing with Maya Angelou". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved 2017-01-12. 
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