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Dance faculty members Duane Cyrus and Robin Gee are coordinating a major showcase of dance events, including a performance concert and workshops by nationally known dancers that will take place in Greensboro Monday through Saturday, Feb. 21-26, in recognition of Black History Month.

The Arts Extension Project will feature dance and music workshops during the week that explore the Black Diaspora with professional Monday through Saturday. It will culminate in The Vital Grace Project, a showcase dance event, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26, in Greensboro Cultural Arts Center Music Hall.

The events are a collaboration between Sugarfoote Productions and Cyrus Art Production, local dance organizations that are run by UNCG dance professors Robin Gee and Duane Cyrus, respectively. The project celebrates the presence of Africanist art in the fabric of the American culture. Funding and support is being provided by a Multicultural Arts Investment Grant, the United Arts Council of Greensboro, City Arts and the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center.

Performers in the Vital Grace Project concert are Juel D. Lane and Ursula Kendall Johnson, the Atlanta-based founders of 2Kids and A Dream; spoken word artist Quentin “E.Q.” Johnson; singer Rahbi, who has opened for Erykah Badu; Jeffrey Page, an Emmy Award-nominated dancer, choreographer and producer who has staged works for Beyoncé and other celebrity artists; Marie Basse-Wiles, co-founder of the Maimouna Keita School of African Dance; drummer Assane Mbaye from the guewel house of Papa Laatir Lam.

Page, Basse-Wiles and Mbaye will also conduct master classes, to be held at UNCG on Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. in the Dance Building and 3:30 p.m. in the Music Building; and at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center on Feb. 26, from noon-6 p.m. There will be an open forum discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 5 p.m. in the UNCG Dance Theater.

Ticket prices are: Jeffrey Page workshops are free to UNCG students; African dance and drum workshops are $5 students, $10 general public. Vital Grace Project ticket prices are $10 general admission, $7 advance purchase, and student/senior/children $5. For tickets or more information on these events contact Robin Gee @ sugarfootep@gmail.com or Duane Cyrus at www.cyrusartproduction.com or call 540-8882.

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