Painted Bride Art Center will present Camille A. Brown’s Mr. Tol E. RAncE, a dynamic interpretation of the tolerance that black dancers have had to exude in the history of American dance. Brown, a two-time two-time Princess Grace Award recipient and prolific choreographer who has achieved multiple accolades and awards for her daring works, brings this evening-length dance to the Bride on Friday April 11th-Saturday April 12th at 8 p.m.
Inspired by Mel Watkins’ book, “On The Real Side: From Slavery to Chris Rock”, Spike Lee’s controversial movie, “Bamboozled”, and Dave Chappelle’s “dancing vs. shuffling” analogy, this evening-length dance theater work celebrates African-American humor, examines “the mask” of survival and W.E.B. DuBois’ concept of “double consciousness” in the black performer throughout history and the stereotypical roles dominating current popular Black culture.
“This piece isn’t about telling you what’s right or wrong because I think our history is too beautiful and complex to do that,” says Brown. Instead she asks, “What are we now tolerating, and why are we still tolerating it?” through comedy, animation, theater, soul-stirring live music by Scott Patterson (with original compositions from Jonathan Melville Pratt, Brandon McCune, Kurt “KC” Clayton and Scott Patterson) and poignantly retrospective dance vocabulary. Blending and contrasting the contemporary with the historic, the goal of this personal work is to engage, provoke, and move the conversation of race forward in a timely dialogue about where we have been, where we are and where we might want to be.
Keeping with Brown’s intention for dialogue, both evening performances will feature a talk back after the show. On Friday April 11th, the conversation will be led by Dr. James Peterson (example: http://www.camilleabrown.org/mr-tol-e-rance). On the 12th, locally-based choreographer and cultural historian Brenda Dixon-Gottschild will lead the talk.
Camille A. Brown is a prolific choreographer who has achieved multiple accolades and awards for her daring works. Ms. Brown is a two-time Princess Grace Award recipient (Choreography & Works in Progress Residency), a two-time recipient of NEFA’s National Dance Project: Production Grant, the recipient of the 2014 Joyce Award with DANCECleveland, and a 2014 New York City Center Choreography Fellow. She was also the 2013 recipient of The International Association of Blacks in Dance Founders Award, the prestigious Princess Grace Award (Choreography), the Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award (Wesleyan University), and the 2012 City College of New York Women & Culture Award.
Informed by her music background as a clarinetist, she creates choreography that utilizes musical composition as storytelling investigating the silent space within the measure, and filling it with mesmerizing movement.
Camille A. Brown’s choreography and dynamic performances have led her to receive a Bessie nomination for Best Performance in her work, The Evolution of a Secured Feminine, and a Best Choreography nomination from the Black Theater Arts Alliance for her debut work set on the Ailey company, The Groove To Nobody’s Business, and was among the first cohort of fellows for Ailey’s New Directions Choreography Lab.
Dance companies that have commissioned her work are: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, Urban Bush Women, Complexions, Ailey II, Ballet Memphis, TU Dance, and Hubbard Street II, among others. Camille and her dancers have performed at major dance venues around the country including The Joyce Theater, Bates Dance Festival, Whitebird Dance, and Jacob’s Pillow. Her works have been performed at The Kennedy Center, The Apollo, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Madison Square Garden, and New York City Center. She was the Choreographer for Saverio Palatella’s line, Whole¬garment 3D, for New York Fashion Week in 2008.
A graduate of the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, Ms. Brown earned a B.F.A. from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. From 2001-2007 she was a member of Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence, A Dance Company, and was a guest artist with Rennie Harris’ Puremovement, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (2008 and 2011).
A career highlight for Ms. Brown was being named choreographer for the Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire in 2012, along with the Off-Broadway musical production, Soul Doctor. She also choreographed a production of Pins & Needles in 2011 presented by The Foundry Theater. Ms. Brown recently choreographed William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, for The McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ, and is the Movement Consultant for Myths of the Jailhouse Gods in development with poet-playwright Marcus Gardley and The Foundry Theatre. A new musical, Fortress of Solitude, also featuring her choreography, is slated to debut at the Dallas Theater Center in March 2014 and at The Public Theater this Fall. Ms. Brown is also working on a new work with her company – currently titled, Black Girl, which will premiere in 2015.
Camille Brown Dancers
Mr. TOL E. RAncE
Fri-Sat April 11th-12th| 8 pm
Music by Jonathan Melville Pratt, Brandon McCune, Kurt “KC” Clayton, Scott Patterson
Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
$25 in advance/$30 day of show
Note: This show contains adult language that may not be suitable for viewers under 13. Parental discretion is advised.