There’s that line of demarcation between religion that often becomes blurred. However, award-winning choreographer Debbie Allen bridges the cultural divide between Islam and Christianity in “Oman…O Man!,” her latest masterpiece. Commissioned by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Allen’s dance musical follows two young male military students who room at the academy and become better acquainted as they discover their similarities and differences as an Omani and African-American.
“I was Invited by the Kennedy Center to create an original piece for their Arabesque festival and spent a year going to a country called Oman where I learned of their rich history, vibrant culture and religion,” Allen told ESSENCE.com. “I created a story about two boys, one Omani, one African-American, who come from different parts of the world, who speak different languages, who have different religions but who share so much in common. I’m convinced that the performing arts is truly one of our greatest tools to promote understanding, harmony and peace. I hope this production will whet the curiosity and appetite of young people who can continue this conversation.”
Even First Lady Michelle Obama gave her stamp of approval after attending a sold-out performance, saying, “Every child in America needs to see this.”
The musical hits Los Angeles for its premiere and gala performance featuring an opening act by the legendary Maurice Hines at UCLA’s prestigious Royce Hall beginning Thursday, December 10 thru Saturday, December 12, 2009.—KNB
For more info visit, www.debbieallendanceacademy.com and www.theoman-omanshow.com