The first concert of Hearts of Men was shared in November of 2011 with an encore performance in January, 2012. High school students and college students (from Montclair State University, Long Island University, and University of the Arts) danced alongside professionals including Matthew Rushing, Clifton Brown, Dudley Williams, Brian Harlan Brooks, Freddie Moore, and Jamal Story among others.
The first intensive, a collaboration between Earl Mosley's Diversity of Dance and Montclair State University, ran from August 23 – September 7. Held at Montclair, 55 men ranging in age from 14 to 56 came together for the first time. They came from New Jersey; New York; Washington, DC; California; Pennsylvania; Texas; and South America. Some were experienced dancers and some were new to dance. What they had in common was the experience of being a man in America, being a male dancer in a female-dominated field, and the sense of joy and exhilaration of moving together in a safe and nurturing environment. They danced and moved together for upwards of 12 hours a day. Stories were shared and friendships formed. Young men were mentored by elders and elders were rejuvenated by the young men. As Mr. Mosley said, “The workshop was my gift—free of charge to all who wanted to take part. My goal was to create a community where men of all ages and backgrounds could play, create, share, and ultimately come together to make dances that speak to Hearts of Men… [the two performances were] the product of a two-week process where men, young and old, brought everything they had and left it on the floor.
A Heart of Man
" ... I can't explain it, you just have to feel it and see it, but it's extraordinary."
— Dudley Williams (1938-2015)
Martha Graham Dance Company & Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater