Talley Beatty (1918–1995) is considered one of the greatest African American choreographers. An extraordinary dancer, he studied ballet with Katherine Dunham and became a member of her company. He went on to create works for his own company and other leading troupes including Alvin Ailey and Philadanco, all of which center on the social issues and experiences of African Americans.

Mourner’s Bench will be performed by Clarence Brooks. Clarence Brooks has performed with more than sixty American companies and toured the USA, Europe, and Asia. His most memorable experiences include performing at the Paris Opera, the Joyce Theatre, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival with Nikolais & Murray Louis Dance Company, Marcus Schulkind Dance Company, Loyce Houlton’s Minnesota Dance Theater, Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians, Ohio Ballet, and Anna Sokolow’s Players’ Project. Brooks is an Associate Professor and Director of Dance at Florida Atlantic University.