President's Report Page Three

Betty Alrige talks about Elizabeth Roberts

2018 Annual Report
Page 3

A summary of 2018 highlights (continued):

  • Margery Sly had some questions about whether the Elizabeth Roberts materials ‐ we had been
    calling it the "Elizabeth Roberts Collection" ‐ was separate from the Arthur Hall Collection.
    We assured her that it was not, and we later recorded the above statement from Betty
    to the effect that Mama Liz acted as the Dance Ensemble's archivist.

    The video is not intended to be a definitive appreciation of Elizabeth Roberts. Of course,
    Mama Liz was among the original AADE dancers from the 1960s onward, and she was loyal
    to Arthur Hall throughout her life. She created most of the company's costumes and also
    provided Arthur with his distinctive street clothes. Arthur often said it was
    Elizabeth Roberts who made it possible for the company to "drag so much material
    across the stage for so many years."

  • Frances Scarborough arranged a meeting with Ken "Skip" Burton, who donated eleven
    High‐8 videotapes which he recorded in Ghana in 1993, one of which contains an
    interview with Saka Acquaye. Joe Gardiner at NHF has made digital masters from these
    recordings and made DVD copies which have been sent to Mr. Burton.

    Skip Burton also provided significant photographs of Arthur and Ione performing
    Adam and Eve (Temptation), reproduced below.

    Arthur Hall and Ione Nash perform Temptation, c. 1967.

    This photograph appears to be from the same production as the two photographs given the
    collection by Steve Linn in January 2012, (see MOJUBA!) and indeed the "African Sketches"
    program provided by Skip Burton (see below) credits Steve Linn for set design and lighting.

    Back of Temptation photo, c. 1967, provided by Skip Burton.

    This is the back of the photo given by Skip Burton. Note the "Theatre of the Living Arts"
    label and the Sydenham Street return address in Arthur's hand. The Theatre of the
    Living Arts of the time was producing Beclch, directed by Andre Gregory.
    The production produced very good reviews for the Dance Ensemble.
    The Sydenham Street address was the home of Arthur's mother, Miss Sally, and an
    early home of the Afro‐American Dance Ensemble.

    In 2016, Andre Gregory asked about footage of the dances in Beclch, dances which are
    probably closely associated with "African Sketches" and MOJUBA!

    Arthur Hall credits Andre Gregory with encouraging him to take risks as a director.

    An early dance ensemble, ca. 1967.

    Also from Skip Burton, a photo with many unidentified dancers. Arthur Hall and Ione Nash
    pose in the foreground. Perhaps that is George Williams standing at left. Perhaps
    these are dancers drawn from the Sydney King classes. If anyone can provide any
    information, please contact me.

    An original 1967 African Sketches program.

    Also from Skip Burton, an original African Sketches program, with a foreword by Arthur Hall
    that ends, " ... a man without knowledge of his heritage is like a tree without roots ..."
    and a dance program:

    Valley of the Sacred Grove
    The company

    King of the White Cloth
    Arthur Hall

    Lost Journey
    Vangie Brown, Karen Steptoe, Carol Butcher, Frank Hill

    Fetish Worshipers
    Ione Nash, Frank Simmons, Arthur Hall

    Goddess of the Harvest
    Karen Steptoe)\

    Vangie Brown, Frank Hill, Willie McCray, Frank Simmons

    Mystery of Love
    Carol Butcher, Arthur Hall

    Drum Interlude

    Odunde Ritual
    Elizabeth Roberts and the ensemble

    Drum Interlude

    Carol Butcher, Karen Steptoe, Vangie Brown, Frank Hill, Willie McCray, Frank Simmons

    Arthur Hall, Ione Nash

    Carol Butcher, Vangie Brown, Karen Steptoe, Frank Simmons, Willie McCray, Frank Hill

    Drum Interlude

    Carnival, parts 1 and 2
    The company

    The company

    The Drummers:
    Bobby Artis, Jerry Golden, Farel Johnson, Robert Crippens, Hilton James, Joseph Williams

    Cowbell and Shaker:
    Sandra Charlton

    Flute, Chakanga Chunda
    Vibes, Gilbert Martin

    Guest Drummers:
    Chief Bay, Sonny Morgan, Richard Landrum

    Choreography: Arthur Hall

    Costumes: Elizabeth Roberts and Arthur Hall

    Sets and Lights: Steve Linn

    Props: Frank Hill

    Photos: Steven Tilles

    Treasurer: Sandra Charlton

    Secretary and Wardrobe: Edward White

    The inside back cover has a message from Arthur Hall that advocates for "A Center for Learning" ‐
    what would be realized a year later as The Ile Ife Black Humanitarian Center.

    New Year's greeting from Linn‐Lehrer
    Working with Arthur Hall had a way of changing one's life. Call it inspiration, perhaps.
    2018 started with the above good wishes from Steve Linn, sets and lighting for African Sketches.
    For contemporary work by Steve Linn see Steve Linn Sculpture.

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