Desperate to leave its crumbling home for a needed new studio space, a dance company short on resources but rich in talent revives a widely revered, difficult and dangerous ballet to present at an arts conference. A brilliant performance could mean security. But when Alicia, a key dancer, pushes her husband down the stairs, room is made for bigger falls than any of the dancers could imagine. With settings all along the company’s touring destinations, and in the sprawling reach of Dallas and its suburbs, Story choreographs a dense, imaginative journey interlaced with tragedies, political mayhem, love lessons, and the transformative, healing power of art.
About the Author
THERE was a 17 year old named Jamal Story. He won the Spotlight Award Scholarship, a prize lauded by all in the land, and balanced a 3.92 GPA, all while training rigorously with Adria Wilson, Oui Geometer Dance Company, and the modern dance godmother Lula Washington. As a teen Mrs. Washington saw the potential for greatness and ushered Jamal into her adult company, the Lula Washington Dance Theatre, where the seeds of integrity were planted into the phenomenal story that is Jamal’s life, love and pursuit of dance. Continuing to excel under exceptional circumstances—he toiled arduously and prevailed in the second graduating class at the California Academy of Math and Science—Jamal fled to Dallas to earn dual degrees at Southern Methodist University in Dance Performance and TV/Radio Communications. While there, Dallas Black Dance Theater and Fort Worth/Dallas Ballet opened up their doors for replacements and guest artist gigs. Never one to leave his roots behind, Jamal continued his close ties to Lula, joining the company for various touring dates. Spellbound by movement, Jamal danced with acclaimed choreographer Donald Byrd/theGroup, Madonna’s 2001 Drowned World Tour, Complexions and with Cher as an aerialist and dancer on Cher’s Living Proof: The Farewell Tour. Immediately thereafter, he was summoned back into the studio with Donald Byrd to help discover the movement for the history-making Broadway show, The Color Purple where he spent the duration of its run as a dancer and assistant dance captain. Seamlessly transferring from concert dance to Broadway, Jamal continued to defy expectations and broaden his horizons when he published his first novel 12:34 a slice novel. Enchanted with the close knit Broadway community, he returned its forest as an original cast member yet again in Mr. Berry Gordy’s Motown the Musical. Jamal is a strong advocate for educating young artists about the changing landscape of dance. While on Cher’s current Dressed to Kill , he remains active as the co-chair of the National Dance Committee for SAG-AFTRA, and holds a seat on the unions local New York Board. With his company, Schehimazade Productions, he lives, ever after, happily choreographing, teaching, writing and consulting as an independent contractor.