White Bird Uncaged Presents West Coast Debut of Dynamic Camille A. Brown & Dancers with Theatrical New Work

WHITE BIRD UNCAGED PRESENTS WEST COAST DEBUT OF  THE DYNAMIC
CAMILLE A. BROWN & DANCERS,  WITH WEST COAST PREMIERE OF
NEW WORK CELEBRATING THE HISTORY, HUMOR AND PERSEVERANCE OF THE
AFRICAN AMERICAN PERFORMER.

 

POST-SHOW DISCUSSION FOLLOWS EACH PERFORMANCE, MODERATED BY
RENEE S.  MITCHELL, KEMBA SHANNON,
AND KEVIN JONES AND LESLI MONES OF THE AUGUST WILSON RED DOOR PROJECT.

 

Who: Camille A. Brown & Dancers, MR. TOL E. RAncE, with Post-show Discussion Each Night
Presented by: White Bird Uncaged
When: Thursday – Saturday, December 6-8, 2012, 8pm
Where: Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Avenue
Sponsor: Willamette Week
Tickets: $30 Adult, $20 Student & Seniors – available at www.whitebird.org or PSU Box Office 503-725-3307 (ZERO ticket fees).  Also available at 1-800-380-3516 (additional fees will apply). 

 

“Brown and her dancers tell painful stories and recall difficult and even tragic times in history,
not just to instruct but to celebrate, and the emergence of this extraordinarily talented young choreographer. . . is cause for celebration indeed." (The Winsted (CT) Journal)

 

White Bird is delighted to present the West Coast debut of the dynamic Camille A. Brown and Dancers, December 6 - 8 at Lincoln Hall, Portland State University.  Camille A. Brown is a vibrant young New York-based artist and the choreographer of the recent Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire. Fascinated by the space between dance and theater where interdisciplinary work defies category, Brown incorporates sketch-comedy and live music into dance that is strongly character-based with an eye to both the past and present.  She and her six dancers will perform in the West Coast premiere of her new work MR. TOL E. RAncE, which both examines sustained stereotypes of African-American performers and pays tribute their humor.  Dance Magazine has called Camille A. Brown’s work “gutsy, wild, smart and original.”

 


Following each night’s 45-minute performance will be an extended conversation with Camille A. Brown and her company, focused on the fascinating issues raised by her work. Audience members will be encouraged to stay and participate in the discussion.  A different moderator will oversee each of the three post-show discussions: on Thursday, Kemba Shannon, acclaimed dancer and teacher; on Friday, Renee S. Mitchell, award-winning former journalist, writer and speaker; and Kevin Jones and Lesli Mones, founders of the August Wilson Red Door Project.

 


Camille A. Brown’s Mr. TOL E. RAncE is inspired by Spike Lee's controversial movie, Bamboozled, and Mel Watkins' book, On The Real Side: From Slavery to Chris Rock. The cast includes seven gifted dancers, including the dynamic Camille A. Brown, as well as pianist Scott Patterson. Brown’s work 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. Blending and contrasting the contemporary with the historic, this is a personal new work that strives to engage the community in a timely dialogue about where we have been, where we are, and where we might want to be.

 


Originally from Jamaica, Queens, New York, Camille A. Brown graduated from LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, attended The Ailey School, and received her BFA from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  She was the 2012 recipient of The Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award and a Princess Grace Award Winning Choreographer. She received a 2011 Bessie nomination for Outstanding Individual Performance in her work, The Evolution of a Secured Feminine, and is one of four choreographers selected as a Choreographic Fellow for Ailey's New Directions Choreography Lab under the direction of Robert Battle.  Camille danced with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company from 2001-2007, was a guest performer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 2008 and 2011, and currently guests with Rennie Harris/Puremovement. Commissions include works for The Ailey Company, Ailey II, Philadanco, Ballet Memphis, Hubbard Street II, Urban Bush Women, TU Dance, and August Wilson Dance Ensemble, among others. This fall, Camille will choreograph for Complexions and The Juilliard School.

 

Camille A. Brown is rapidly making a name for herself in the musical theater world, choreographing for the Broadway revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, and the Off- Broadway musical, Soul Doctor. She also choreographed The Foundry Theater produced musical, Pins & Needles, and the new musical, Fortress of Solitude. She has served as Adjunct Professor of Dance at Long Island University and Barnard College and completed residencies for the New Orleans Dance Festival, Howard University, Skidmore College, and Georgetown University as well as in Italy and Tokyo, Japan. Brown firmly believes that artists should put their creativity into action; she raised money for Uptown Music Theatre (New Orleans, La) in 2009 and continues to support organizations around the country.

 

Camille A. Brown & Dancers have performed in many venues both nationally and internationally, including The Joyce Theater, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Joyce SoHo, Dance Theater Workshop, City Center's Fall for Dance Festival, The Skirball Center, Aaron Davis Hall, Fire Island Dance Festival (DRA), Symphony Space, Dance Place, Washington, DC; Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas, Seattle, WA; and Perry-Mansfield's New Works Festival in Steamboat Springs, CO.

 

White Bird’s presentation of Camille A. Brown’s Mr. TOL E. RAncE was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  White Bird Uncaged 2012-13 is made possible through the support of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. White Bird’s 15th season (2012-2013) is also supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Work for Art, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, PGE Foundation, The Jaffe Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, , and Oregon Cultural Trust.