“we shall not be moved” ny debut at the apollo

October 6, 2017

“We Shall Not Be Moved” will see it’s New York debut at the Apollo on October 6th and 7th. The genre-defying opera is inspired by the 1985 MOVE crisis where a standoff between police and a Black liberation group resulted in the deadly bombing of a residential neighborhood in Philadelphia. It tells the story of five North Philadelphia teens who seek refuge in a condemned house at the site of West Philadelphia’s former MOVE compound. The teens draw comfort and inspiration from the ghosts that haunt their new home, and come to consider their squatting not merely as self-preservation, but as an act of resistance.

The production combines spoken word, contemporary dance, video projection, and classical, R&B
and jazz singing to an original score, featuring the collective talents of composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and celebrated director, choreographer, and dramaturge Bill T. Jones.

Librettist, arts activist, and spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, describes his relationship to the opera and the acute relevance of its topic 30 plus years later:

“In the same way that we all inherit the legacy of systemic pathologies in our country, the main characters – including the police officer who serves as both antagonist and protagonist – are also part of that legacy, and they mine the specific history of the MOVE organization and the MOVE bombing as a foundational point. We focus on how the legacy of the MOVE ideologies and of this extrajudicial violence shows up today all over the country – and acutely in the city of Philadelphia.”

Tickets available at