The Making of WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED | Chapter One: Truth

Go behind the scenes of the world premiere opera WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED by composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, librettist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and director-choreographer-dramaturge Bill T. Jones. This multi-part documentary explores how this poignant new work found its way to the stage.





Who's ready to get your audition on?! Bring your A-Game to Amateur Night at the Apollo Auditions this Saturday! ...and don't sleep! The line starts to form as early as Friday night. The producers will see the first 300 contestants in line.
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Join Apollo Theater executive producer Kamilah Forbes, composers Toshi Reagon and Daniel Bernard Roumain, vocalist and Helga podcast host Helga Davis for a conversation about the contributions of black artists to contemporary opera and the narratives they are driving in American culture at The Greene Space at WNYC/WQXR!

The evening includes performances from new works, including Reagon’s “Parable of the Sower,” an operatic adaptation of the science fiction novel by Octavia L. Butler, and Roumain’s “We Shall Not Be Moved,” an interdisciplinary opera co-commissioned and co-produced by Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Opera Philadelphia and London’s Hackney Empire, which will have its New York premiere on Friday, October 6 at The Apollo.
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Black Creativity: Toshi Reagon and Daniel Bernard Roumain

September 28, 2017, 7:00pm - September 28, 2017, 8:15pm

Join composers Toshi Reagon and Daniel Bernard Roumain, Apollo Theater executive producer Kamilah Forbes and vocalist and Helga podcast host Helga Davis for a conversation about the contributions of b...

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“Black… Not like skin, Black like not supposed to win. Black like the other side of spacious sky and amber waves. We all black, like anti-matter… we family tied by pain.” – Unsung

#WeShallNotBeMoved is the genre-defying opera inspired by the MOVE Crisis in Philly, coming to the Apollo stage October 6-7 in collaboration with Opera Philadelphia. Go behind-the-scenes to explore the making of this rare operative work that both features and was created by artists of color.
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Join community leaders and revolutionaries for an upfront conversation about the issues facing urban America and what’s needed to move forward at #ApolloUptownHall: Movement Required on September 30, 2017!

This event is free with RSVP.

Panelists include Jennifer Jones Austin, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Tamika D Mallory, Michael O'Bryan, Jason Osder, Jerika L. Richardson and more, moderated by Imhotep Gary Byrd and Solomon Jones.
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Apollo Uptown Hall: Movement Required

September 30, 2017, 4:00pm

FREE WITH RSVP! Motivated by the We Shall Not Be Moved operas themes, #ApolloUptownHall: Movement Required will feature an excerpt of the award-winning documentary Let the Fire B...

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we shall not be moved

Friday, Oct 6 / 8:00 pm
Saturday, Oct 7 / 8:00 pm

The Apollo Presents A New York Premiere Opera
Music by Daniel Bernard Roumain 
Libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph
Directed & Choreographed by Bill T. Jones
Conducted by Viswa Subbaraman

Experience this genre-defying opera that combines spoken word, contemporary movement, video projection, classical, R&B and jazz influences. Inspired by the 1985 MOVE crisis in Philadelphia where a standoff between police and a Black liberation group resulted in the deadly bombing of a residential neighborhood, We Shall Not Be Moved explores that legacy today through five Philly teens who find power in family and resistance.

This invigorating chamber opera, is “ambitiously interdisciplinary,” according to Tony-Award winner Bill T. Jones (Fela!, Spring Awakening). He’s joined by Daniel Bernard Roumain, a Harlem based composer whose music blends genres into a vital, experiential sonic form and Marc Bamuthi Joseph – the acclaimed Haitian-American librettist whose bold poetically-driven work investigates social issues and cultural identity.


Breakin’ Convention

Friday, Oct 27 / 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, oct 28 / 7:30 p.m.

The Apollo Presents Breakin’ Convention
An International Festival of Hip Hop Dance Theatre
A Sadler’s Wells London Project, Curated & Hosted by Jonzi D

Breakin Convention returns to the Apollo with another packed program featuring the best and brightest hip-hop dance companies from around the corner and around the world.   The Apollo celebrates the global impact of its hip hop roots with everything from mainstream to experimental dance, showcasing all the hallmarks of the genre: explosive energy, intricate step sequences, synchronicity, and choreography.

International performers include the legendary Salah and Yeah Yellow of France, South Africa’s Soweto Skeleton Movers,  and the UK’s Protocol.  From New York, it’s the legendary Dynamic Rockers, Rep Your Style, Harlem’s own Bwreckfast Club from Litefeet Nation, Passion Fruit Dance Company, Havoc & Klassic.  Spilling off stage and taking over the whole building, workshops, graffiti, DJs, and dance battles make Breakin’ Convention an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

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soundtrack '63

Saturday, Feb 24, 2018 / 8:00 p.m.

The Apollo Presents Soundtrack ‘63
A Soul Science Lab Production
Creative Direction by Chen Lo
Music Direction by Asanté Amin

Behind every movement is a soundtrack that inspires change.  Experience the sights and sounds that shaped the music of an era.  Soundtrack ‘63 is a live musical documentary and artistic retrospective of the African-American experience in America. This concert event connects generations using immersive video from and post- Civil Rights Movement along with spirituals, protest songs, hip-hop, jazz, funk, soul and popular 20th century music performed by an 18-piece orchestra and a soul stirring vocal ensemble along with commentary by Dr. Cornel West, and renowned poets Sonia Sanchez and Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets.  Special guest performers to be announced soon!


“Chen Lo is a complete emcee but is perhaps best known for his clever lyricism.”

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Saturday, Mar 3, 2018  / 8:00 P.M.

Featuring Black Coffee, Tony Allen & Jeff Mills, and Pierre Kwenders
Presented in partnership with World Music Institute

Now in its sixth season, this annual concert celebrates the best of today’s African music scene. DJ and producer Black Coffee has experienced a meteoric rise to fame with a penchant for fresh sophisticated Afropolitan house music that’s  sculpturaly balanced and beautiful.  For the first time in the United States, the Apollo unites two legends to bring Afrobeat and techno together:  Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer and original drummer for Fela Kuti, Tony Allen collaborates live with brilliant techno music DJ and producer Jeff Mills.  Singer/songwriter Pierre Kwenders’ music ranges from R&B to electronic and futuristic hip-hop, all rooted in Congolese rumba, the ubiquitous sound of The Democratic Republic of Congo. 


Between the World and Me

MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2018 / 8:00PM
TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2018 / 8:00PM

Apollo Theater presents A World Premiere Theatrical Performance Book by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Developed and Directed by Kamilah Forbes
Original Score by Jason Moran
Co-Commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me,” offers a powerful framework for understanding our nation’s history, the idea of race, and current crisis.

The live performance event will be a presentation of excerpted selections, read monologue-style by notable guest artists with newly composed music by pianist Jason Moran (“Selma,” “Netflix’s 13th,” Apollo Presents Harlem Nights/U Street Lights), direction by Apollo Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes (Broadway’s Stickfly, NBC’s “The Wiz”), and interactive visual storytelling by projection media artists.


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In my first season as Executive Producer of the Apollo Theater, I am honored to say that we are building on its legacy as the epicenter of American culture and black creativity, while collaborating with the most innovative and dynamic artists of the 21st century. This year, the Apollo Presents programing will premiere performances about some of the most powerful moments in our nation’s history, such as Bill T. Jones’ direction of a genre-crossing opera inspired by the 1985 MOVE Bombing in Philadelphia while also showcasing works that directly capture the spirit of struggle and resistance in our country today. I am proud to direct the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ award-winning “Between the World and Me” and meaningfully engage with the key issues of our time in a way that only the Apollo can do.

In the same way that a 17 year-old Ella, a dynamic young showman named James, and a burgeoning powerhouse singer named Aretha always saw the Apollo as both a world-class institution and an artistic home, we continue to invite artists in our space to dream, collaborate, and create works of art that defy expectations and authentically express themselves. We have a special name for those events: “only at the Apollo” moments. This year promises many of these once-in-a-generation experiences. I can’t wait to share them with you.

Enjoy the shows,
Kamilah Forbes
Apollo Executive Producer