GRAMMY® Award winning producer, recording artist, and composer, Donald Lawrence, contributes music to a 45-minute preview performance of a new concept musical, GOSHEN, as a part of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s 25th anniversary season, on August 25 at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park.
GOSHEN, is based on the Biblical story of the Exodus. It’s a collaborative fusion of historical narrative, dance theater, and spiritually inspired music that explores the trials and triumphs of the human spirit. Lawrence first introduced some of the music in the Donald Lawrence Presents the Tri-City Singers’ best-selling 2019 album, GOSHEN. It featured Le’Andria Johnson leading the heart-wrenching ballad, “Deliver Me,” which spent five weeks in the No. 1 spot on the prestigious Billboard Gospel Airplay chart. Johnson joins the principal soloists of The Tri-City Singers; cutting edge gospel act, Zeke Locke & The NuXperience; and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, to bring GOSHEN to life.
The full-length production of GOSHEN was initially scheduled to open for a two-week run at Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse in spring 2020. “Then COVID hit,” Lawrence recalls. “That canceled everything. I envisioned this as a live touring event. I hope for it to eventually become an international touring vehicle as dance theater meets a choir. I would love to see a short run on Broadway too.”
Meanwhile, The Tri-City Singers will begin rehearsals in October to record the GOSHEN Deluxe soundtrack that will release in 2022. It which will include the current songbook and new songs. “The additional songs are to further tell the story,” Lawrence adds. “We are also having two of the songs re-done in Portuguese as bonus tracks. The Brazilian group, Kemuel, will do `Jehovah Sabaoth,’ and the choir, One Service Project, will do the song `Goshen’ under the direction of Brazilian choir master, Lucas Augusto. They have studied the Tri-City Singers’ sound and finesse for years. We hope to eventually take GOSHEN to South America too.”
Deeply Rooted Dance Theater reimagines and diversifies the aesthetics of contemporary dance by uniting modern, classical, American, and African American traditions in dance and storytelling. Deeply Rooted collaborates with nationally renowned choreographers, across the spectrum of modern, ballet, and African dance, to reflect contemporary voices.