Yesterday, my 2nd cousin made an angelic transition.
Jeremiah Tatum was a professional dancer who entertained audiences across the globe. The Los Angeles native began his dance training at the age of 9 as a scholarship student at the Lula Washington Dance Theatre and later became a part of their touring company and teaching staff. He also joined the Alvin Ailey Contemporary Dance Theatre as their youngest member. His long list of professional credits include such notable shows as the Broadway and touring companies of The Lion King (source) .
I never got a chance to meet Jeremiah. Every time I was in LA, he was somewhere else being amazing. I loved it when my great aunt Betty told me stories about Jeremiah’s career and showed me newspaper clippings, photos and programs featuring her beloved grandson. I followed his career from afar and always thought that it was so cool that there was another performer in my family who was so successful in the entertainment business.
I want to share a video with you. This is a excerpt from “FREEDOM,” a contemporary piece that Jeremiah performed in 2012. I love that it encapsulates his strength, technique and artistry. With no music, his breath, steps, movement and the audience’s reaction provide the perfect soundtrack. Enjoy.
Video Credit: Excerpt from FREEDOM, part 3 of “Portraiture: Stories in Jazz.” JazzAntiqua Dance Ensemble and Brian Swartz & the Gnu Sextet, June 9, 2012 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, Los Angeles. Choreography: Pat Taylor, Jeremiah Tatum, Lady Walquer. Lighting Design: Leigh Allen. Presented in association with Ebony Repertory Theatre.