This post was originally published on February 7, 2022.
This Week on One Detroit, Arts & Culture:
The Dance Theatre of Harlem combined movement, melody and history in their latest performance, “Higher Ground,” which paid tribute to Stevie Wonder and his influential music. Before performing at the Michigan Opera Theatre, the dance company took a visit to Hitsville U.S.A. to find some inspiration from where Wonder got his start back in the day.
One Detroit’s AJ Walker met up with the dance company at the Motown Museum where Resident Choreographer Robert Garland and dancers previewed parts from their “Higher Ground” performance. Walker talked with Garland and senior dance member Lindsey Donnell about the inspiration they found, the reason for choosing Wonder’s music as a basis for their performance, and the parallels tropes they see from Wonder’s music in causes like Black Lives Matter today.
Born in Detroit and electrified by fire, Virgil Taylor has been creating for most of his life, but despite crafting wearable items, Virgil Taylor considers himself a metalworker and not a jeweler. His work, he explained, comes out as a more organic, unrefined product. And his inspiration? The ancient history and designs of Middle East and African countries. For Detroit Performs, Virgil Taylor takes viewers inside his workspace at the Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Center to premiere some of the beading work, African bracelets and other items he’s currently working on for clients.
As part of Detroit Public Television’s documentary “Detroit Designs the World,” we transport back to 1950’s Detroit when architect Minoru Yamasaki (1912 – 1986) began to make his mark on the Detroit skyline. Yamasaki, most known for designing the World Trade Center, was a leader in mid-century modernism that equally evoked design elements from across the globe. His designs can be seen across Detroit, from his 1927 design of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch, to the McGregor Memorial Conference Center at Wayne State University and the One Woodward skyscraper — his first skyscraper.
Former Detroit Free Press business writer and author John Gallagher, Jeanette Pierce of the City Institute, and Dr. Dale Gyure, professor and department chair of architecture and design at Lawrence Tech University and the author of “Minoru Yamasaki: Humanist Architecture for a Modern World,” explore Yamasaki’s designs across Detroit, examine the beauty and diverse influences of his designs, and reflect on the legacy he left in the Motor City.
In closing, watch a special Detroit Performs: Live From Marygrove performance of one of singer-songwriter Trey Simon’s most notable singles, “The Impossible.” Simon, who has roots in blues music, has crafted a unique identity for himself over the course of his musical career, and some esteemed accolades have come to follow. Simon has opened for the likes of Patti LaBelle, Andra Day and Andy Grammer, and he was nominated for his first Detroit Music Award in 2020.
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Watch One Detroit every Monday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET on Detroit Public TV on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.