The goal of the Sister Moses Project is to educate and entertain an expanded audience on the story of Harriet Tubman, the revered anti-slavery activist who successfully escaped from slavery herself, and later risked her own life to lead hundreds more slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad.
History is brought to life on stage through movement, dramatic narration, African drums, melodious string sounds and traditional spirituals.
Desert Dance Theatre is also known for specializing in theme-related programs that focus on cultural diversity and about the lives of prominent people who have fought for freedom in America through the form of music/dance/dramas. The company has completed a trilogy of civil rights productions such as “Judgments” (1988) that was created in response to racial slurs made by then current Governor Evan Mecham. The dance makes a statement about the painful consequences of discrimination. In honor of Dr. Kings legacy, “Free At Last: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” (1995) was commissioned as a special diversity celebration event for Motorola employees and the general public.
“Sister Moses: The Story of Harriet Tubman,” (1993) is our most popular and long-lived dance/drama, though excerpts from all are still relevant and continue to be performed in current repertory. Each dance/drama is typically featured after intermission along with other current repertory that opens the program.
The Sister Moses Project is a way to both honor and celebrate Harriet Tubman, the most widely recognized symbol of the Underground Railroad. When she escaped on September 17, 1849, Tubman was aided by members of the Underground Railroad. To her, freedom felt empty unless she could share it with people she loved so she resolved to go back and rescue friends and family. Harriet was nicknamed “Moses” by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. The name was used as an analogy to the biblical story of Moses who attempted to lead the Jews to the Promised Land and free them from slavery.
In April 2016, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced that Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill, becoming the first woman in more than a century and first African American to grace the front of a paper note. The nation is anxiously awaiting an update on this exciting news!