Visiting Artist | November 27 - December 8, 2016
For their first MANCC residency, Camille A. Brown & Dancers (CABD) came to develop ink - the final installation of her identity trilogy, which includes Mr. TOL. E. RAncE (2013) and BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play (2015). Reclaiming African-Americans narratives by showcasing their authenticity, “ink” celebrates the rituals, gestural vocabulary, and traditions that remain (from generation to generation) ingrained within the lineage of the African Diaspora. This work examines the culture of black life that is often appropriated, rewritten, or silenced.
In collaboration with Music Director Allison Miller, percussionist Wilson Torres, and violinist Juliette Jones, using the rhythms and sounds of traditional African instruments as its center, ink travels through time with elements of Blues, Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Swing, moving seamlessly through its musical landscape to provide its own storytelling. The movement is an amalgamation of African American social dance, African, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Hip-Hop.
From the Abolitionist movement to the Civil Rights struggle, from The Black Power movement to the emergence of Hip Hop, ink seeks to highlight the space of pedestrian interactions as grounds for individuals and communities to find liberation and access their power. Talvin Wilks leads the dramaturgy, along with theatrical and scholarly insight from Daniel Banks and Kamilah Forbes.
While at MANCC, Talvin Wilks served as a mentor to guide the dramaturgical and theatrical components of the creative process. Brown’s creative research was augmented by a discussion with FSU scholar, Dr. Alisha Gaines whose teaching interests include African American literature and culture, black queer theory, media and performance studies, narratives of passing, and New Southern studies. Brown hosted a Community Open Studio for FSU students, faculty and local college students to observe the artists and Wilks in action and learn about the creative process firsthand. The residency concluded with a public work-in-progress showing and discussion.
Brown’s creative process is often community-centered, and three FSU student dancers were selected via essay competition to participate in the residency experience. The students observed the residency process and were provided with specific time to talk with Brown directly about the choreographic process and highlights of founding a dance company. Additionally, a public panel discussion was organized with Brown, Wilks, and facilitated by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, resident faculty at FSU and Artistic Director of Urban Bush Women.
This residency was funded, in part, by the Princess Grace Foundation.
Collaborators in Residence: Catherine Foster, Yusha-Marie Sorzano, Tim Edwards, Shamar Watt, Mark Castera, Beatrice Capote [Dancers], Joey Oakley, Wilson Torres [Musicians], Allison Miller [Music Director], Robert McIntyre, Production Stage Manager, Talvin Wilks [Dramaturg], Indira Goodwine [Managing Director]
Slideshow photos taken by Chris Cameron and Meagan Helman