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“To watch the company is to see hope take human form” —High Ground News


Collage Dance Collective Performances Include a World Premiere Ballet by Hope Boykin on February 2, 3 & 4, 2024 and the Memphis Premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Chroma on April 20 & 21, 2024


Additional Programming Includes:

3rd Annual Memphis Dance Festival on National Dance Day, September 16, 2023;

13th Annual Gala Fundraiser, October 29, 2023;

34th Annual International Conference of Blacks in Dance, January 24 to 28, 2024;

14th Annual Student Concert, June 3, 2024; and

Collage Dance Collective Tour of the Eastern and Southern U.S.


August 22, 2023 (Memphis, TN) — Collage Dance – one of the largest Black-led performing arts organizations in the South and one of only a few professional ballet companies in the world with a roster of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) dancers – today announces its 2023-2024 season of performances. With choreography as rich and diverse as Memphis itself, Collage Dance Collective’s fourteenth season reflects the professional company’s classical sensibility coupled with its desire to push the boundaries of ballet. Season highlights include a world premiere ballet by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater alum Hope Boykin, and the Memphis premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, originally commissioned in 2006 for The Royal Ballet in London. Season preview video available here.

Founding Artistic Director Kevin Thomas says, “Audiences can look forward to a soulful, strong, and poised upcoming season. Our 14th Season elevates Collage Dance’s reputation for balancing innovation and tradition. We continue to rethink ballet, pushing boundaries of the art form while preparing the next generation to both value existing repertoire and explore new work. Collage Dance is a proud performing arts leader in our home of Memphis, and we can’t wait to continue spreading the love and power of dance across the nation.”

Collage Dance kicks off the new season with the 3rd Annual Memphis Dance Festival on National Dance Day, Saturday, September 16, 2023. Held at the Collage Dance Center from 12:00pm to 4:00pm, the free, family-focused community event features the best dance makers in the nation. Recognized as the preeminent dance festival in the region, Grammy Award-winning Rebirth Brass Band, Memphis’ own Lil Buck, and artists from world class dance companies across the nation including New York City Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, SOLE Defined and Nashville Ballet are featured alongside hometown favorites. Festival attendees can enjoy an afternoon full of dance, food trucks, and family fun.

On Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 2:00pm, Collage Dance hosts its 13th Annual Gala Fundraiser in support of the Collage Dance Conservatory. With a VIP hour at 1:00pm, this grand event at the FedEx Event Center at Shelby Farms features performances by Collage Dance Collective and students from the Collage Dance Conservatory, in addition to appearances by Grammy Award-winning jazz artist Kirk Whalum, soul singer Talibah Safiya, and Ensemble X.

Co-produced by Collage Dance Collective, the 34th Annual International Conference of Blacks in Dance takes place in Memphis from January 24 to 28, 2024. A pioneering four-day dance experience, attendees will engage in a multitude of invaluable opportunities expanding their understanding of dance history and technique through Conference and Festival programming that includes an awards celebration, meals and social events, a membership town hall, sessions, and five performances open to the public. More details to be announced.

Collage Dance Collective presents its winter performance, RISE, on Saturday, February 3 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 2:30pm at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Collage Dance Artistic Director Kevin Thomas’ hallmark ballet Rise – set to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final public speech – is the centerpiece of this program, which features additional choreographic voices: Amy Hall Garner’s transcendent Saint Glory, inspired by her grandparents’ Catholic and Baptist roots, plus a world premiere by Alvin Ailey
American Dance Theater alum, Hope Boykin. A special abbreviated matinee performance of RISE for 2,000
students will take place on February 2.

Collage Dance Collective’s spring performance, ELEVATE, takes place on Saturday, April 20 at 7:30pm and Sunday, April 21, 2024 at 2:30pm also at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Featured works include the Memphis premiere of Wayne McGregor’s Chroma, which explores the drama of the human body and its ability to communicate extremes of thought and emotion. The one act ballet is set to original music by Joby Talbot and his arrangements of music by The White Stripes, and was heralded by the London Times as “ravishing on all fronts.” It premiered in 2006 at The Royal Opera House and in 2007 received an Olivier Award for Best New Dance Production. Since The Royal Ballet premiere of Chroma, it has been staged by companies around the world including San Francisco Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Boston Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Australian Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, and National Ballet of Poland. The performance also includes a dynamic new commission by Miami-based choreographer Durante Verzola.

Rounding out the 2023-24 season is Collage Dance’s 14th Annual Student Concert on June 3, 2024 at 3:00pm. Held at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, the highly anticipated year-end performance will feature more than 300 students from the Collage Dance Conservatory who train in ballet, tap, jazz and West African dance. This historically sold-out performance is an awe-inspiring opportunity to witness and invest in the promise of Memphis area youth.

Collage Dance Collective will also tour in its fourteenth season, elevating new audiences across the Eastern and Southern United States. Tour stops and dates are as follows, with more locations to be announced and details to follow: October 3-6, 2023 in Cleveland, MS at the Bologna Center; November 2-5, 2023 in Schenectady, NY at the Proctors Theater; November 8-12, 2023 in Frankfort, KY at the Grand Theatre; November 13-15, 2023 in Madisonville, KY at the Glema Mahr Center for the Arts; November 22-26, 2023 in Midland, MI at the Midland Center for the Arts; November 27 to December 3, 2023 in Flint, MI at the Whiting Auditorium; February 27 to March 1, 2024 in Hilton Head, SC at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina; March 3-9, 2024 in Norfolk, VA presented by the Virginia Arts Festival; and March 13-15, 2024 in Jackson, TN at The Ned.

Season subscriptions are available via or by calling 901-800-1873. Subscription levels include Platinum and Gold, which offer premiere in-person seating at all upcoming ticketed performances, discounts on additional in-person tickets for family members and guests, and discounts on Collage merchandise. Collage Dance Collective also offers ONE MEMBER Digital subscriptions to provide subscribers the opportunity to watch all upcoming performances from the comfort of their own home, plus access to additional exclusive Collage content, discounts on in-person tickets, and discounts on Collage merchandise. Collage Dance’s fourteenth season is made possible through generous support from the Mellon Foundation, The Hyde Family Foundation, SouthArts, ArtsMemphis, Tennessee Arts Commission, Shubert Foundation, and the International Association of Blacks in Dance.


2023-24 Program Information


3rd Annual Memphis Dance Festival
Saturday, September 16, 2023 at 12:00pm
Collage Dance Center | 505 Tillman Street | Memphis TN 38112
Rebirth Brass Band
Lil Buck
New York City Ballet
Alonzo King LINES Ballet
SOLE Defined
Nashville Ballet


13th Annual Gala Fundraiser
Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 2:00pm (1:00pm VIP Hour)
Fedex Event Center, Shelby Farms | 415 Great View Dr | Memphis, TN 38018
Collage Dance Company
Collage Dance Conservatory students
Kirk Whalum

Talibah Safiya
Ensemble X


34th Annual International Conference of Blacks in Dance
January 24 to 28, 2024
Memphis, TN
More details to follow


Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 7:30pm
Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 2:30pm
Cannon Center for the Performing Arts | 255 N Main St | Memphis, TN 38103
Kevin Thomas: Rise
Amy Hall Garner: Saint Glory
Hope Boykin: New work (World Premiere)


Saturday, April 20, 2024 at 7:30pm
Sunday, April 21, 2024 at 2:30pm
Cannon Center for the Performing Arts | 255 N Main St | Memphis, TN 38103
Wayne McGregor: Chroma (Memphis Premiere)
Durante Verzola: New work (Collage Dance Collective commission)


14th Annual Student Concert
June 3, 2024 at 3:00pm
Cannon Center for the Performing Arts | 255 N Main St | Memphis, TN 38103
Collage Dance Conservatory students


Collage Dance Collective on Tour
October 3-6, 2023 – Bologna Center, Bologna Performing Arts Center | Cleveland, MS
November 2-5, 2023 – Proctors Theater | Schenectady, NY
November 8-12, 2023 – Grand Theatre, Save the Grand | Frankfort, KY
November 13-15, 2023 – Glema Mahr Center for the Arts | Madisonville, KY
November 22-26, 2023 – Midland Center for the Arts | Midland, MI
November 27 to December 3, 2023 – Whiting Auditorium | Flint, MI
February 27 to March 1, 2024 – Arts Center of Coastal Carolina | Hilton Head, SC
March 3-9, 2024 – Virginia Arts Festival | Norfolk, VA
March 13-15, 2024 – The Ned, Ned R. McWherter West Tennessee Cultural Arts Center | Jackson, TN
More locations to be announced.


About Collage Dance

Recently named a “Southern Cultural Treasure” by South Arts and the Ford Foundation, Collage Dance is one of the largest Black-led performing arts organization in the South and one of just a few professional ballet companies in the world with a roster of BIPOC dancers. Working to inspire the growth and diversity of ballet, Collage Dance Collective showcases a repertoire of relevant choreography and world-class dancers representative of the communities we serve. The professional company has presented thirteen full-length seasons in Memphis, plus national and international touring presenting a diverse range of classical and contemporary choreography from George Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Ulysses Dove, Joshua Manculich, Amy Hall Garner, Kevin Iega Jeff and more.

The work of Collage Dance Collective has been featured in media outlets including Huffington Post, Allure, Yahoo!, The Commercial Appeal, Afropunk, Dance Magazine and Pointe Magazine. Its institutional arm, the Collage Dance Conservatory, trains more kids of color in a classical art form than any other non-profit in the region. More than 1,000 students each week study dance through Collage’s in-school dance education programs and on-site at its new 22,500 square foot state-of-the-art facility, Collage Dance Center, opened in December 2020. The Conservatory’s unified curriculum coupled with a rigorous culture of excellence, hard work, and high standards provides students with a first-rate experience. Students are challenged, nurtured and prepared for the rigors of a professional career on or off the stage.

Collage Dance also runs the Collage Dance Continuum, which seeks to dramatically increase access to dance    and movement classes for Memphians, regardless of age, ability, disability, or body type. The Continuum is a collection of community engagement initiatives, collaborative partnerships, adult CLASSES for beginner and intermediate adult dancers, and COURSES for adults with no previous dance training. The Continuum offers affordable classes in a non-competitive, affirming environment with master teachers at the top of their craft.

Learn more at




Contact: Katlyn Morahan | Morahan Arts and Media | (646) 378-9386

Shalishah Franklin
Cell (213) 949-3204