Dance Films From Bruce Wood Troupe Chronicle a North Texas Lynching, COVID-19 Case, Other Relevant 2020 Topics

Bruce Wood Dance company member Matthew Roberts in choreographer Adam W. McKinney's "Promise Me You'll Sing My Song." (Brian Guilliaux)
Bruce Wood Dance company member Matthew Roberts in choreographer Adam W. McKinney's "Promise Me You'll Sing My Song." (Brian Guilliaux)

This story, originally published in The Dallas Morning News, is reprinted as part of a collaborative partnership between The Dallas Morning News and TMN. The partnership seeks to boost coverage of Dallas’s communities of color, particularly in southern Dallas.

By Manuel Mendoza
Dallas Morning News Writer

Featuring local choreographic talent, the program was mostly shot at outdoor locations.

Watching Matthew Roberts joyously spin and leap through the natural beauty of Mountain Creek State Park, you might not realize the dance piece was created in memory of a man who was lynched nearby nearly 150 years ago.

Reuben Johnson was left strung from a tree in southwest Dallas County for 30 days after being killed on Dec. 27, 1874, for refusing to back the false alibi of a criminal suspect.

At one point in choreographer Adam W. McKinney’s Promise Me You’’ll Sing My Song, Roberts twists his torso and limbs between the branches of a tree to produce pleasing geometric shapes.

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