Michael Jackson, Jr. (New Orleans, LA) began his dance training at age 14 at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., under the direction of Charles Augins. He became a member of Dance Theatre of Harlem Dancing through Barriers Ensemble in 2005. In 2006, he joined Dallas Black Dance Theatre and in 2008 joined Philadanco, where he also worked as Artistic Director of D3. Mr. Jackson joined the Company in 2011 and rejoined in 2015.
Akua Noni Parker (Kinston, NC) began her professional dance training at the Academy of the Dance in Wilmington, Delaware. After graduating high school she joined Dance Theatre of Harlem, where she performed principle roles in George Balanchine’s Agon, Serenade, The Four Temperaments and the title role in Michael Smuin’s St. Louis Woman. Ms. Parker was also a company member with the Cincinnati Ballet and Ballet San Jose, and had the honor of being the first African-American ballerina to dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in Ballet San Jose’s The Nutcracker. Since joining the the Company in 2008, Ms. Parker has performed featured roles in Mr. Ailey’s Blues Suite, Night Creature, Masekela Langage, The River, and Cry. She has also performed featured roles in Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort, Wayne McGregor’s Chroma and the title role in Geoffrey Holder’s Prodigal Prince. One of the highlights of her career with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was performing in Chroma for the Lincoln Center at the Movies filming of An Evening at Alvin Ailey. To see Ms. Parker’s outside projects and interests, follow her on Instagram at onlyupward.