Camille A. Brown Touring Repertory

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photo of Mora-Amina Parker courtesy of Matt Karas

photo of Mora-Amina Parker courtesy of Matt Karas

INK (2016 Work-in-Process)

Camille A. Brown & Dancers will develop “ink,” as the final installation of the company’s dance theater trilogy built on the common theme of “identity”. Accompanied by a sound score crafted by DJ OP and composer Jonathan Pratt that decodes, interweaves and honors samplings from Hip Hop’s revolutionary artists of the 1970s-1990s, this dynamic work will explore the link between the heart of the Hip Hop cultural phenomenon and our current generation’s political response to socioeconomic injustice. “ink” will feature rhythmic choreography based on contemporary and historic social dance forms such as African Juba and Hip Hop, gestural work and game playing fashioned on the dancers’ bodies as musical instruments in order to intertwine, anthropomorphize and elevate the past and present of Hip Hop through the lens of the youth of yesteryear and today.

BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play (2015)

7 dancers; Live Accompaniment

BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play reveals the complexity of carving out a self-defined identity as a black female in urban American culture. In a society where black women are often only portrayed in terms of their strength, resiliency, or trauma, this work seeks to interrogate these narratives by representing a nuanced spectrum of black womanhood in a racially and politically charged world.

With original music compositions (live music by pianist Scott Patterson and electric bassist Tracy Wormworth), Brown uses the rhythmic play of African-American dance vernacular including social dancing, double dutch, steppin’, tap, Juba, ring shout, and gesture as the black woman’s domain to evoke childhood memories of self-discovery. From play to protest the performers come into their identities, from childhood innocence to girlhood awareness to maturity—all the while shaped by their environments, the bonds of sisterhood, and society at large.

  • Creative Team
  •   Composers: Scott Patterson & Tracy Wormworth
  •   Dramaturges: Daniel Banks, Kamilah Forbes and Talvin Wilks
  •   Lighting Design: Burke Wilmore
  •   Set Design: Elizabeth C. Nelson

Resources and References: Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship by Dr. Aimee Meredith Cox, The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-dutch to Hip-hop by Dr.  Kyra Gaunt, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and Daniel Silberberg’s Wonderland: The Zen of Alice.

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.

Mr. TOL E. RAncE

7 dancers; Live Accompaniment; RT: 40:00 minutes


“Lorraine’s Rag” and “What A Wonderful World” rendition by Brandon McCune – performed by Scott Patterson
“Manipulator” by Jonathan Melville Pratt
“KC Winning Game Theme” by Kurt “KC” Clayton
“The Overture”, “Showtime”, and “Hattie Mae” by Scott Patterson

“Humor is what you wish in your secret heart were not funny, but it is, and you must laugh.  Humor is your own unconscious therapy.”  – Langston Hughes

Inspired by Spike Lee’s controversial movie “Bamboozeled” and Mel Watkins’ book On the Real Side: from Slavery to Chris Rock, Mr. TOL E. RAncE celebrates the humor and perseverance of the black performer and examines stereotypical roles dominating current popular Black culture. Through comedy, live original music, animation, theater, and poignantly retrospective dance vocabulary, Mr. TOL E. RAncE speaks to the issue of tolerance – how much Black performers had to tolerate – and addresses the forms of modern day minstrelsy we tolerate today. It is not a history lesson. Blending and contrasting the contemporary with the historic, this is a personal new work that strives to engage communities in a timely dialogue about where we have been, where we are and where we might want to be.



2 dancers, optional: 1 musician, RT 9:33 minutes

Choreography: Camille A. Brown

Music: an improvisation performed by Nick Demopoulos based on “You Taught My Heart to Sing” by McCoy Tyner” and “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper

Costumes: Carolyn Meckha Cherry

Lighting: Michael Korsch

Premiere: The Joyce

“A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.” – Edward de Bono

MEMORIES was commissioned by The Joyce Theater Foundation in New York City with the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for Complexions Contemporary Ballet


2 dancers, RT 7:00 minutes
Premiere: Jacob’s Pillow

*This work was co-commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow and created in part during a Creative Development Residency with support from the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award Initiative” Concept initially created on dance stars Danny Tidwell and Tony nominated dancer, Karine Plantadit, this work tells the struggles of a dancing duo from the 1950/60′s. “A world premiere duet for Brown and Juel D. Lane, “Been There Done That,” reveal Brown’s considerable and effortless humor.”
-The Boston Globe


4 Dancers, 2 musicians, 1 poet RT: 21:00 minutes

Music: Brandon McCune and Farai Malianga (live accompaniment)

Premiere: July 2008- Dance Theater Workshop (New York)

Set in the year 1915 (50 years after the Civil War and 50 years before the Civil Rights Movement) in a small room , this work focuses on 4 young black males who have been selected by the elders to be the future leaders of the community. In a time where truth, justice, and peace, are all against them, these men meet, stepping into their leadership and creating the path for change. With poetry written by Dana Gourrier (performed by J. Michael Kinsey), Matchstick explores the conversations between these men through bold, earthbound movements.

“In her new Matchstick…she [Ms. Brown] creates a physical and emotional environment in which four Black men inpost-Civil War/pre-civil rights America–future leaders of a community–gather around a table strewn with papers to strategize, argue and perhaps resolve differences. Their movement–expressionist and often jarring–gives us a sense of their conflicts and their vital connection to one another…intriguing and powerful.” -Eva Yaa Asantewaa (Infinitebody)


9 Dancers, RT: 15:00 minutes

Music: Ray Charles and Brandon McCune

Premiere: September 2007- Sadler’s Wells (London, England)

Imagining the meeting of strangers on a subway, Brown’s work (commissioned by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) reveals glimpses of humanity in pedestrian movements and ordinary interactions.

“2007 should be remembered as the year of The Groove when choreographer Camille A. Brown threw down a worthy challenge…Groove bears all the hallmarks of its creator’s own style in her celebrated years dancing for Ronald K. Brown- bold, quicksilver, detailed, and charming to the max. I can’t wait to see what this dancemaker brings us next.”
-Eva Yaa Asantewaa (Dance Magazine)


Solo, RT: 9:00 minutes

Music: Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Carter, Nancy Wilson

Premiere: September 2007- City Center’s Fall for Dance (New York)
Company Premiere: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Dec, 2010)

Choreographed and performed by Brown, “The Evolution…”, is a portrait of a woman, who with taunt gestures and fast footwork bursts into action creating a witty and humorous portrayal of a character in the midst of vacillating between uncertainty and carefree expression. The candid journey becomes a force with no restrictions, while finding joy in the spontaneity of life and celebrating the limitless gift of being a woman.

This work was made possible with generous support from The Fund For New Work and Bam/651 Arts.

“[Camille A. Brown] as an innate ability to emulate the unspoken in the subtle ways she captures and telegraphs vernacular gesture.” -The Washington Post

“a tour de force ” – Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times

“The incomparable Camille A. Brown dances her solo to music by Ella Fitzgerald, Betty Carter and Nancy Wilson…Brown breezed onto the stage, a hat dipped low over her eyes, and launched into ‘The Evolution of a Secured Feminine’. (What a title! But, by the end of this tour de force, you understand it.) It certainly could not be called quiet or small, but it had lots of tiny, vivid treasures, specific, focused movements danced with frightening control and… I adored this dance, and so did the audience who could not get enough of Brown” -Eva Yaa Asantewaa


8-14 Dancers, RT: 10:00 minutes

Music: Rebirth Brass Band
Visual Artist: Moses Ball

Premiere: August 2006 (Washington, D.C.)

Commissioned by Reflections Dance Company and inspired by the events of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, this work is a celebration of the spirit and culture of the people of New Orleans. Second Line is a traditional brass band parade for weddings, social events, and most notably, funerals. The people who follow the parade dancing with high energy and spirit are known as the ‘second line’. In this work, the dancers represent spirits of ancestors who have passed on in celebration of the strength of their descendants who were faced with the terrible conditions of Katrina. Brown is currently extending this work.

“Though grief is given its due, exuberance swells with the music of the Rebirth Brass Band. We’re still here, Brown reminds us, so we might as well dance.” -The Boston Globe

“The movement in New Second Line is elastic, springy and big, with collapses to floor that pop right back again, lots of group synchronicity and fun. Everything is so strong and emphatic but also fluid and smooth.” -OffOffOff