Free performance of Lula Washington Dance Theatre coming to DelTech


Once again, the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation and the Freeman Stage at Bayside are bringing international-caliber dancers to Sussex County, presenting a free live performance of the Lula Washington Dance Theatre.

As part of the 2013 Off Stage Series, the LWDT will grace the Delaware Technical and Community College on Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Hailed by critics as “exciting” and “captivating,” the LWDT is celebrating 32 years of work as an African-American modern dance company on the West Coast. LWDT built an international reputation for mixing athleticism, performance art, acting, jazz, ballet and street dance styles to reflect the African-American experience.

This is the LWDT’s first Freeman performance. The company includes well-trained athletic dancers, many from inner-city Los Angeles, where the company is based.

“We saw it in-person in New York City, and we were just blown away by the performance,” said Freeman Marketing Director Doug Phillips. “You really can appreciate the quality in person.”

The dancers aim to bring passion, charisma and interpretive power to their performance.

A common star on international stages, the LWDT company reaches 20,000 people annually, having toured in Russia and Asia, and appearing at the Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Out of Doors and more.

For the 2009 film “Avatar,” Washington herself partnered with director James Cameron to create the movement and rituals of the Na’vi people.

“We just though it would be a great cultural experience for the area residents,” said Phillips of the Feb. 27 performance. “We don’t have this caliber of: (1) dance, or (2) expertise in dance.”

The performance’s admission costs for adults were recently eliminated, so all seats are now free.

“We thought it was more important to provide access for the event,” said Phillips. “It speaks to our mission to provide arts and arts experience to all.”

Audience members are advised to arrive early for a good seat. The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. in the Arts & Science Center located on the Owens Campus in Georgetown.

Washington herself will participate in a pre-show lecture on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at noon in the theatre. The lecture is also free and open to the public.

The open-air Freeman Stage at Bayside, located 4 miles west of Fenwick Island, is sponsored by the nonprofit Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, whose goal is to present diverse, low-cost arts and entertainment in the community. Partnering with DelTech in Georgetown allows the Stage to continue wintertime arts performances and education.

The tour was made possible, in part, by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit, www.freemanfoundation.org or www.freemanstage.org, or call (302) 436-3015.