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Bladensburg Waterfront Park
Bladensburg Waterfront Park
The Anacostia River used to be a major shipping and trading venue. But decades and centuries of infill have reduced it to something that looks more like a garbage drainage channel.
The Bladensburg port has a long history but is especially known as a “seaport during the colonial period, Bladensburg is best remembered for the Battle of Bladensburg (1814) during the War of 1812, which cleared the way for the burning of Washington by British troops. Its role as a seaport faded as the Anacostia River silted up and larger ships could no longer reach the port.” (wikipedia)
The issue our dance created and addressed is that of responsibility and stewardship of the water, particularly around the issue of garbage.
Vincent E. Thomas: dancer, choreographer and teacher, received his MFA in Dance from Florida State University and a BME in Music from the University of South Carolina. He has danced with Dance Repertory Theatre (FSU), Randy James Dance Works (NY/NJ), Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (MD), EDGEWORKS Dance Theater (DC), and currently an adjunct artist with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange.
His choreography has been presented at various national and international venues including Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland, and Avignon, France. In July 2008, he performed in the World Congress on Dance Research in Athens, Greece, and the International Choreographers’ Showcase in Bari, Italy.
He was selected as one of eleven choreographers from around the world to convene for the 2005 Omi International Dance Collective and served as the guest mentor for the 2007 Dance Omi residents. Vincent is a recipient of a 2008 Kennedy Center Local Dance Commission Project Award, a 2008 Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts Grant, a 2009, 2007, 2005, & 2003 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Choreography, two 2006 Metro DC Dance Awards for Emerging Choreographer, and Outstanding New Work (for his evening length work the “Grandmother Project”), 2005 City Arts & Humanities Individual Artist Grant, 2004 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in Solo Dance Performance and the 2004 Henry C. Welcome Fellowship. Vincent is also a recipient of a 2010 Maryland State Individual Artist Award for Solo Performance, a 2009 Baker Artist Award- Baltimore Choice, a 2009 Best of Baltimore- Choreographer Award, and a 2009 MetroDC Dance Award for Outstanding Overall Production for “Witness”. He is a 2010 Artist in Resident at University of Nebraska-Omaha for the Malcolm X Festival, a 2007-2008 Artist Scholar in Residence at Michigan State University (MI), a faculty member for the Urban Bush Women Summer Institutes (NY & New Orleans), and an Associate Professor of Dance at Towson University (MD).
The performance took place at the end of a Youth and Community Health and Economic Festival, and was the culminating event for the full day. Since the issue addressed by our performance was that of responsibility and stewardship of the water, particularly around the issue of garbage, the piece was built on such questions as: Where does garbage belong? What is the cost of putting it where it goes? Who does that? Who can help make the change? And WHY? What would it matter five years and ten years from now? How can we get people to think about the infinite tomorrow? The title of the piece was The Infinite Tomorrow.
How Can I Find Out More?
Contact Vincent E. Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions to Site Location
Bladensburg Waterfront Park 4601 Annapolis Road Bladensburg, MD 20710, 301-779-0371; TTY 301-699-2544 Hours of Operation Sunrise to sunset daily Visitor’s Center: 9 am-4 pm Location/Directions From Washington D.C., take New York Avenue East. Turn North on Bladensburg Road. Pass Peace Cross on left. You are now on MD Route 450. Take 1st right into Bladensburg Waterfront Park. There is a sign at the entrance. From Maryland, from the Beltway, take exit 23 which is Kenilworth Avenue South towards Bladensburg. Go five miles. After traffic light for Upshur Street intersection, go right on exit ramp to MD Route 450 (Annapolis Road). Go left at end of exit ramp onto Route 450 West. Park Entrance is 2 short blocks on the left. From Virginia, take Kenilworth Avenue North. Take the exit ramp on right to MD Route 450 West. Turn right at stop lght onto MD Route 450 West. Park entrance is 2 short blocks on the left.
Other resources and links
The mission of the Anacostia Watershed Society is to protect and restore the Anacostia River and its watershed communities by cleaning the water, recovering the shores, and honoring the heritage.