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Souls of Black HoustonSouls of Black Houston Melissa Taylor Photography

Souls of Black Houston

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Feb 10, 2024

Event Type


Ticket Price

Starting at $38

Performance Hall

Zilkha Hall

On Sale

Fri, Dec 1

Presented by the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts is proud to present Urban Souls Dance Company in Souls of Black Houston, a dance concert honoring Black History Month. This performance celebrates the company’s 20th anniversary season and pays tribute to two decades of sharing the powerful stories of the African-American experience. The show’s highlight is the incredible production Colored Carnegie (originally commissioned by Performing Arts Houston in 2021), created and directed by Urban Souls Founder and Artistic Director Harrison Guy, featuring an original score by Dr. John Cornelius and a stunning set design by Edgar Guajardo. Inspired by the history of the segregated Houston Colored Carnegie Library, this piece is a poignant reminder of the resilience and strength of the Black community.

In addition to Colored Carnegie, the program includes four other captivating works. Sugar Shack, choreographed by Walter J. Hull, II, draws inspiration from the evocative paintings of Ernie Barnes, while Harrison Guy’s Black Bodies in White Spaces explores the complexities and beauty of self-acceptance and self-love. Black Bodies in White Spaces was developed in collaboration with Rice University’s Center for Engaged Research & Collaborative Learning. Souls of Black Houston promises to be a thought-provoking and inspiring celebration of Black artistry and history.

Urban Souls is excited to also feature two alumni works. Distract me from the Mirror choreographed and performed by former Urban Souls Dancers Uwazi Zamani and Trent Williams, Jr. and M/W: lessons choreographed by former dancer Dwayne Cook.



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Performance Schedule

  • Audio Description
  • Open Captions
  • ASL

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    Founded in 2004, Urban Souls Dance Company (USDC), is a Houston-based contemporary dance company and arts organization that is committed to bridging the gap between life and dance theater. The mission of Urban Souls is to foster connection and build community through dance, education, and advocacy. Urban Souls builds upon community assets to tell stories of the Black experience, prioritizing racial equity and advancing healing and justice.

    Harrison GuyAbout Harrison Guy

    Harrison Guy (He/Him)  [Activist, Choreographer, Cultural Architect and Community Builder]
    Harrison Guy considers himself a student of the city and uses a movement-based practice to document, preserve, and honor Black history and culture. He was a founding member of two modern dance companies in Houston, Exclamation Dance Company and Dorrell Martin’s Dance Fusion. In 2004 he founded Urban Souls Dance Company- a modern dance company based in Houston who focuses on providing a safe space for Black dancers to learn and share Black stories. Harrison has captivated audiences across the nation through his inspirational and unique works of truth, beauty, and activism. Using his personal identity as a Black gay man as a catalyst, he is interested in how Black life and African American traditions might be accessed in the pursuit of healing. He has facilitated a cultural exchange in Kigali, Rwanda, and was commissioned to create a work at Vanderbilt University in the Spring of 2015 to honor one of America’s most prominent composers, John Harbison. In 2016 he launched Houston’s first African American Dance Festival and he has also founded Black Arts Movement Houston, a gathering space for local creatives. Harrison was the inaugural Artist in Residence at Rice University through the CERCL Department where he presented a project for Black students and the community called Black Bodies in White Spaces. He is the Founder of the Charles Law Community Archive through the Black LGBTQ History & Heritage Project with the African American Library at The Gregory School.  Harrison is the Director of Arts and Culture for the 5th Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation where he leads the 5th Ward Cultural Arts District and manages the Historic DeLUXE Theater. Harrison is currently on dance faculty at the Kinder High School for Performing & Visual Arts. He is a 2022 Dance/USA Artist Fellow made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) and he is one of the inaugural recipients of the BIPOC Art Network and Fellowship Artist Award 2023.

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