Photographer Merit Ester Engelke featured at the Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center (Germany), spent the summer documenting the Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre and New York Dance Festival experience. Sculptor Eric Rosé featured sculptures of Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre company members.

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Artistic Collaboration- Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center – 2003

“Bach in the Spanish Court” was American Choreographer Sean McLeod’s exploration of how Classical Ballet could have been explored in the time of the Royal Courts of Europe, but from an “Ethnic Capacity.”  This work was the second step after an initial workshop of the concept at the New York Dance Festival in 2000. Sean McLeod’s emotional, complicated, classical yet  ethnic storytelling found even moments of comedy and light heartedness. 

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“Bach in the Spanish Court” – 2001

Solo created for Lorienne Beals as she continued her dance journey studying at Purchase Conservatory of Dance.

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“Now At Last” The Green Dress – 1999

Sisters is a piece that was created for a company of young female dancers who were all having different personal struggles in their lives.  Struggles because their dad wanted them to be this and didn’t want them to be that.  The boyfriend who was saying “I called you at 9 o’clock, where were you?” And that one of the 17 year old dancers thought she was culpable, and that she had to answer to him.  Sean McLeod said “That ain’tcho Daddy!  He don’t get to ask you dat.” So, Sisters helped them to be able to understand that they decide what they do in life.  They’re going to share, they’re going to be strong, and they’re going to be formidable.  They are going to be every color that a woman is.  They’re going to be every size and every shape.  The reality happens to be, that women rule the world. 

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“Sisters” – 1998

Invitation initiated by Jennifer Harpending.

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“Chemung River Project” – 1998

A work about a mother, a baby, and the possibilities of those lives and those touched by them. This solo exquisitely shows the struggles of a woman, choices of a mother, and offers a similar understanding even for a mother of a child of color.

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“Mother Black Child” – 1997

A joint collaboration with Roxanna Young, the then Associate Director of the NYC KDT branch. The “Community of Color” Black History Month World Culture Celebration draws people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds together to honor community, black history and world culture. The main objective is to create a climate for conversation, appreciation, and graciousness among people from different backgrounds. The Community of Color Honors Awards were created to publicly acknowledge and honor those who dare to make a positive change in society.

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“Community of Color” Celebration – 1997
Choreographed by American Choreographer Sean McLeod, “Conception of Soul” is the 1st movement of a larger 5 movement work entitled “Soul” that explores an African Mythology of how the world began. This movement introduces this powerful piece and presents the theme developed throughout the work, but has the ability to stand on its own.

Choreographed by American Choreographer Sean McLeod, a classic work in the KDT/SMDEx History.

“Soul” is Sean McLeod’s interpretation of an African Mythology on how the World began. He explores this notion through the energy created and nurtured from the soul of Women and shared with men. The work is also a tribute to Jose Limon’s “There is a Time”. Sean often wondered how such a work would look if it were created from an African perspective. “Soul” answers that question, honors the African contribution, and celebrates the treasure of women.

“Soul is the most unexplainable and powerful force in this world known to man. It is of which you were born and what remains when you leave. I will celebrate the Soul as it is the desire of man, passion of the woman, and the future of the child. I invite you into the most personal place in my life, my dreams, my conceptions, my worries…my Soul”

If interested in booking or having Sean reset the full work please email

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“Soul” – 1994

SUNY Purchase alumni Thomas Warfield and Roxanna Young were brought back to the Finger Lakes Region of New York by their former classmate, Sean McLeod, Artistic Director of the Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre, to be foundational faculty and teach the classic styles of modern dance, ballet, and dance composition they learned while studying together at the Purchase Conservatory of Dance, just outside of New York City.

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Adding to the Artistic Team – 1993

Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Sean McLeod forged a partnership with Cayuga Community College’s Director of Student Services Joy Shortell, and past college President Dr. Larry Poole, along with Purchase Conservatory of Dance alum to create this artistic platform. Additional guest artists invited to join the faculty included; Laurie Lubeck (American Ballet Theatre) and Sheryl Woodmansee (Washington Ballet) to teach in sessions twice a year (known as the Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre Winter and Summer Dance Intensives-now the New York Dance Festival).

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An Artistic Platform – 1991

“When You’ve Been Blessed” a classic KDT Repertory piece, choreographed by Sean McLeod, becomes a highly-anticipated piece that received acclaim while the professional company was on tour during the mid ’90’s.

Choreographed by Sean McLeod, performed by the Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre in 1996.
“When You’ve Been Blessed” is a Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre classic dance piece performed as part of the Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre’s 25th Anniversary

Finding a home in Virtual dance. In 2020, a time of question while in celebration of our 30th year in dance and doing this Sean McLeod classic choreographic piece, please enjoy the Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre in expressing Patti LaBelle’s life affirming words, “When You’ve Been Blessed Pass It On.”

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“When You’ve Been Blessed” – 1990

The original inception of the Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre began in 1988 with the production Motown and the Mirror at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Purchase that was produced and directed by Sean McLeod. A few members of that original dance core stayed close and continued working with Sean’s Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre.  Staging and rehearsing in NYC at the Larry Clark Studios, New Dance Group and other NYC landmarks of dance, Sean McLeod forged a strong kinship with now celebrated dancer, international choreographer, and master teacher Gregory Livingston (of Germany), and award winning director and choreographer Roxanna Young who along with running her own company, became Associate Director and NYC director of KDT.  At the same time, Sean kept in touch with his college mentor, Thomas Warfield, an internationally acclaimed personality in so many genres of the arts including dance.  Thomas started working with Sean and appeared as a special guest of KDT becoming a permanent fixture and leading influence in the company’s development.  Eventually and with the kindred collaboration of Roxanna, they eventually brought the NYC company to upstate NY. First Auburn NY, then Syracuse, Rochester and countless other upstate cities.  At the time, KDT was one of only two well established black run professional dance companies in all of Upstate NY.  The other being Garth Fagan, who was another influence on Kaleidoscope.  In the midst of all of this Sean founded an Upstate version of the professional dance company in Central New York in 1990. That made Kaleidoscope Dance Theatre dually-based in NYC and Central New York, with a focus on bridging NYC with “The Other New York” and sharing our unique communication approach with people around the globe.

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The Beginning – 1990