D.C. area dancer and choreographer C. Lorenzo Evans III is one of the talented minds behind Washington Performing Arts’ Mars Arts DC: Virtual series, curating the events in support of the local arts community. One segment of Mars Arts DC, Dance in DC, kicks off tonight with the premiere of “Crazy Legz @ Ben’s Chili Bowl,” one of six programs featuring local artists paired with businesses in the District.
“I want folks to leave this experience feeling the spirit of the arts and the spirit of peace,” Evans says of the Washington Performing Arts series. “I want them to see it as a work of art. Everyone we engage with through Mars is an artist: the videographer is an artist, the designer is an artist, the artists themselves. We’re all just sharing moments.”
Each of the six programs is comprised of two short videos per week, now through December 18, in an effort to showcase “the similar currents of innovation, risk-taking and community immersion that inspire both the District’s dance and independent business scenes.”
“My own life as a dancer, choreographer and businessperson intersected in a really powerful way as I curated this series, and I think that viewers will be as moved as I was by the inspiring and beautiful words of the artists and business representatives featured in each film.”
Evans’ work behind the scenes of Mars Arts DC: Virtual is just as remarkable as his journey as a dancer. His appreciation for music was passed on from his family, but his recognition of the connection between music and dance occurred after two Alpha Phi Alpha members came to his high school and shared some of their choreography.
“I love the philosophy that dance is what music is supposed to look like,” he says. “I’ve definitely embodied that as someone who loves music and to express myself through the movement. I love the coalescence of the two.”
Evans embarked on an entrepreneurial journey to pursue his passion for dance while attending school at Temple University. He went on to found goLoworld Dance Company and open Prince George’s County, Maryland-based dance studio goLo Dance Lab, and even had the opportunity to collaborate with The Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown.
“I taught hip-hop dance at Elite Dance Studio & Supply in Silver Spring, Maryland, and one of my students’ parents lived next door to Chuck Brown’s manager. Chuck Brown was looking to add dance to one of his last promotional opportunities, so they put me in touch with his manager. From then on, I danced with his band for many years.”
Evans was also asked to choreograph for “American Idol” winner Fantasia Barrino.
“I actually booked [the Fantasia Barrino opportunity] because I created a dance that was very popular and had international appeal,” he explains. “The dance got the attention of her management team, and they called me in to do some choreography and dance with her for her Back to Me tour.”
Evans transitioned from the performing side of the arts to the business side with his role as director of finance and administration for the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, leading him to his current role as chief operating officer and director of finance for Washington Performing Arts. In addition to Dance in DC, Evans was also instrumental in the Rhythm & Motion film series released in late October.
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