Teaching Civil Rights History Through Dance

Panoramic Dance Project - Operation Breadbasket

NC State’s Panoramic Dance Project to present ‘Operation Breadbasket’ in Spring 2014 concert

Panoramic Dance Project, one of two student dance companies administered by the NC State Dance Program, is developing Operation Breadbasket, a mixed media modern dance honoring its namesake Civil Rights movement.

Operation Breadbasket is choreographed for Panoramic Dance Project students by artistic director Tara Z. Mullins, along with renowned guest choreographers Willie Hinton and L.D. Burris (former member of Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble). Choreography is set to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1967 “Where do we go from here?” speech, a selection of gospel and soul music, and an original, commissioned documentary-style interview with Robert J. Brown, former public relations consultant for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Operation Breadbasket boycott negotiator.

Mullins was inspired to produce the dance after personal conversations with Mr. Brown about his experience serving on the board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and his relationship with Dr. King. Mullins said she aims to help audiences make sense of this period in history, educating them about the outcomes as well as moving them to “absorb the feelings on a soulful level.” The 12 students performing the dance have engaged in study and conversation about the history of Operation Breadbasket to help them think critically about the way their dance will educate and impact audience members.

While the choreography work is still in development, NC State students and faculty/staff are invited to attend an open rehearsal to see the work in progress, ask the choreographers questions and provide feedback. Open rehearsal is February 22, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Carmichael Carmichael Gymnasium Dance Studio 2307.

Operation Breadbasket will be performed as one act of Panoramic Dance Project’s spring concert on March 27 and 28, 2014 at 8 p.m. in Titmus Theatre at Thompson Hall. Tickets are available through Ticket Central.

Funding for guest choreographers provided by the Lattice Endowment for the Performing Arts.

Media Inquiries

Contact Panoramic Dance Project artistic director Tara Z. Mullins, tzmullin@ncsu.edu, 919-513-7345.

Operation Breadbasket History

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference launched Operation Breadbasket in 1962 to create economic opportunities in African American communities by calling on ministers of black churches to persuade their congregations to limit their patronage to businesses that engaged in equitable hiring practices.

About the NC State Dance Program

Panoramic Dance Project, one of two dance companies administered by the NC State Dance Program under the umbrella of ARTS NC STATE, is dedicated to exploring a diverse range of dance styles, including modern, jazz, hip hop, African and Latin. The dance, music, crafts and theatre courses offered by ARTS NC STATE are open to all NC State students, regardless of major.

Panoramic Dance Company Student Members

  • Rebecca Anderson, junior, Psychology
  • Leslie Barber, sophomore, Fashion and Textile Management
  • Development and Product Management
  • Jamie Barbuto, sophomore, Textile Engineering
  • Corinne Canavarro, junior, Chemistry
  • Euijin Alley Choo, Ph.D candidate, Computer Science
  • Jenna Delsignore, freshman, Business Management
  • John Miller IV, junior, Psychology, minor in Arts Entrepreneurship
  • Serena Murison, senior, Interpersonal Communication
  • Ashley Sartain, senior, Social Work
  • Natalie Seibel, senior, Art+Design, minor in Arts Entrepreneurship
  • Allie Sloan, senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Bronchez Walls, class of 2013, Psychology and Sociology

Video Production/Photography: Benjamin Scott, graduate student, Art+Design