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The propulsive, explosively intelligent choreographer CAMILLE A. BROWN creates work that is both viscerally and intellectually exciting. Her evening-length piece Black Girl: Linguistic Playexplores black female identity through a series of dances “so elastic, so intricate that the sense of cadence and rhythm is as visual an experience as it is an aural one.” (NY Times) Brown is a prolific dance maker who has achieved multiple accolades and awards for her daring works. Informed by her music background as a clarinetist, she utilizes musical composition as storytelling to lead her dancers through excavations of ancestral stories, both timeless and traditional, that connect history with contemporary culture.
The evening begins with a set by the remarkable BRANDEE YOUNGER, “a harpist of rare prominence in jazz, building on an African-American legacy largely defined by Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane.” (NY Times) Younger has worked worked with Ravi Coltrane, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Bill Lee and Reggie Workman, and has appeared on recordings with popular artists including John Legend, Common, Ryan Leslie, and Drake.
The creation and presentation of BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project with lead funding provided by The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Major support for this new work also comes from the MAP Fund, primarily supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional funds from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Engaging Dance Audiences administered by Dance/USA and made possible with generous funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; a Jerome Foundation 50th Anniversary Grant; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and a 2014 New York City Center Choreography Fellowship.
This work was commissioned by DANCECleveland through a 2014 Joyce Award from the Joyce Foundation, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at The University of Maryland, Juniata Presents and Juniata College. It was developed, in part, during a residency at Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York, NY awarded through the Princess Grace Foundation–USA Works in Progress residency program; a creative residency at the Wesleyan Center for the Arts; a technical residency at Juniata College in Huntington, PA; a residency at New York City Center; and a residency at Newcomb Dance Program, Tulane University Department of Theatre and Dance.