Neema Bickersteth refocuses history through a black woman's lens

Soprano Neema Bickersteth takes us through 100 years of black women's experience in Canada — using music composed by men.
In an inventive new play, Century Song, Neema Bickersteth has reimagined history through the eyes of black women. (Ben Shannon/CBC)

Modern dance, classical music, innovative video — Neema Bickersteth's one-woman show, Century Song, is unlike any other performance you're likely to see this year. 

The stage performer and soprano pairs the music of 20th century male classical composers with 100 years of black female experience. Today she swings through studio q to perform two songs from the show, explain the unique pairing, and share how a dearth of fulfilling roles inspired this project. 

"I didn't always want to play the maiden who needed to be saved," says Bickersteth. 

WEB EXTRA | Watch the trailer for the show, which runs in Toronto's The Theatre Centre until January 23 before heading west to PuSH.


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