About this Video
This talk is about the creative process for BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play and the experience that changed the direction of the process and Ms. Brown’s performance life.
CAMILLE A. BROWN is a prolific choreographer who has achieved multiple accolades and awards for her daring works. Informed by her music background as a clarinetist, she uses musical composition as storytelling and makes a personal claim on history through the lens of a modern Black female perspective. She leads her dancers through excavations of ancestral stories, both timeless and traditional, that illustrate stories which connect history with contemporary culture.
About the Speaker
Camille A. Brown
Camille A. Brown is a prolific choreographer who has achieved multiple accolades and awards for her daring works. She is a Bessie Award Winner (Mr. TOL E. RAncE), a 2015 USA Jay Franke & David Herro Fellow, 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award recipient, 2015 TED Fellow, two-time Princess Grace Award recipient (Choreography & Works in Progress Residency), two-time recipient of NEFA’s National Dance Project: Production Grant, and was nominated for the 2015 Lucille Lortel “Outstanding Choreographer” Award (Fortress of Solitude). Ms. Brown is also a 2015 MAP Fund Grantee, recipient of the 2015 Engaging Dance Audiences Grant, the 2014 Joyce Award with DANCECleveland, a Jerome Foundation 50th Anniversary Grant, and a 2014 New York City Center Choreography Fellow. She received The International Association of Blacks in Dance Founders Award (2013), the Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award (Wesleyan University), and the City College of New York Women & Culture Award (2012).
Informed by her music background as a clarinetist, she makes a personal claim on history through the lens of a modern Black female perspective and she leads her dancers through excavations of ancestral stories, both timeless and traditional, that illustrate stories which connect history with contemporary culture. Her versatility is effortlessly demonstrated in works that range from light-hearted (Groove to Nobody’s Business; Been There, Done That) to spiritually based (New Second Line; City of Rain) and politically charged with comedic flare (Mr. TOL E. RAncE) to personal (BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play).
In addition to performing, Ms. Brown and CABD strive to instill cultural curiosity, introspection and reflection in its audiences by providing outreach activities to students, young adults and incarcerated women from local communities in NYC and across the country. In 2014, Ms. Brown also founded two initiatives: The Gathering, an annual open forum for intergenerational Black female artists to advocate for greater cultural equity and acknowledgement in the contemporary dance world; and BLACK GIRL SPECTRUM, a multi-faceted community engagement initiative that seeks to amplify the cultural and creative empowerment of Black girls and women through dance, dialogue, and popular education tools. Ms. Brown was featured on the August 2015 cover of Dance Teacher Magazine and Co-Directed (with Moncell Durden) a new program at The Jacob’s Pillow School, Social Dances: Jazz to Hip-Hop.
From 2001-2007, Ms. Brown 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). She has commissioned works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco!, Urban Bush Women, Complexions, Ailey II, Ballet Memphis, and Hubbard Street II, among others.
Her theater credits include: Choreographer of A Streetcar Named Desire (2012), Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theater), Stagger Lee (DTC), Katori Hall’s BLOOD QUILT (Arena Stage), Cabin in the Sky (NY City Center’s Encores!), Jonathan Larson’s tick, tick…BOOM! (NY City Center’s Encores!) starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale (Regional), Marcus Gardley’s The BOX: A Black Comedy, and GALOIS at the New Ohio Theatre. This Summer, Ms. Brown will perform as a guest artist in the world premiere of And Still You Must Swing with tap artists Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Derick K. Grant, and Jason Samuels Smith at Jacob’s Pillow.
Currently, Ms. Brown is developing a new piece with the working title “ink.” The concept for “ink” seeks to use lyricism as its fabric to de-code “Illmatic” by the Queens-born hip-hop icon Nas, as well as the music of KRS 1 and Lauryn Hill, and engage audiences around the topics of race, politics, gender and cultural identity.
Ms. Brown is a graduate of the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts and received a B.F.A. from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.