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Documentary Shines Light on Alumna’s Distinguished Career

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Janette Ballard

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Cleo Parker Robinson Documentary

Cleo Parker Robinson (BA ’70, Hon. PhD ’91) was in the national spotlight in March 2023 when she was honored at the White House as a founding member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance,  which received the prestigious National Media of Arts award from President Joe Biden. This recognition led to another spotlight in the Rocky Mountain PBS documentary series, Colorado Experience.

The profile on Parker Robinson and her life’s work kicked off the series’ 10th season in September. The documentary highlights her 53-year career as a cultural ambassador who has influenced the world of dance, not only in Denver but across the globe.

An award-winning history series, Colorado Experience explores the people, events and places that have shaped Colorado. Few have had as large an impact as Parker Robinson. The founder and artistic director of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) oversees a professional ensemble that tours nationally and internationally, a youth ensemble, an academy of dance and a world-renowned summer dance institute.

For over 35 years, her dance school in Denver’s historic Five Points neighborhood has been the cultural hub in the Rocky Mountain region for African American modern dance and dance traditions from around the world.

According to the CPRD website, “We use the universal language of dance to honor the African Diaspora, explore the human condition, champion social justice, unite people of all ages and races, and ultimately celebrate the complexity of life through movement.” This reflects Parker Robinson’s lifelong vision of “One Spirit, Many Voices.”

Learn more about Cleo Parker Robinson and her work in this episode of Colorado Experience.