Camille A. Brown & Dancers bring energy to Union

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By Miryam Moutillet

Camille A. Brown & Dancers, a New York City modern dance troupe known for its high theatricality, gutsy moves and virtuosic musicality, comes to campus Oct. 23  through Oct. 25 as part of the Theater and Dance Department’s annual Stephanie C. Davis Dance Residency. These talented, mesmerizing performers promise to spark a widespread interest in Union’s dance community.

The dance program will offer a master class for all interested students on Wednesday, Oct. 23, as well as a lecture and demonstration open to the Union community on Thursday, Oct. 24. Both events will take place in the new Henle Dance Pavilion from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

On Friday, Oct. 25, at 8 p.m., the company will give a public performance at The Egg Theater, located in the Empire State Plaza Center for the Performing Arts in Albany. A limited number of tickets to the performance are free for Union faculty, students and staff with a Union ID. Free round-trip bus transportation will also be provided; buses will leave from the Nott/Seward parking lot at 7 p.m. and return after the performance.

A prolific choreographer who has won multiple awards and performed internationally, Brown creates fast-paced, jazzy dance moves for her troupe, which the New York Times calls “a tour de force.” Her work explores real life situations from a contemporary female perspective. These serious movers are able to act and dance, step into the world of history and come soaring into the present. The dancers seek to connect with people, provoking, engaging and inspiring their audiences.

The show at The Egg will combine comedy, live original music and theater with the troupe’s awe-inspiring moves. Part of the program will include the company’s newest piece, “Mr. TOL E. RanCE,” which speaks to the issue of tolerance, celebrates African-American humor and examines the stereotypical roles dominating current popular black culture.

The work was inspired by the Spike Lee movie Bamboozled, a political parody that takes a look at minstrelsy, Mel Watkins’ book, On The Real Side: From Slavery to Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle’s “dancing versus shuffling” analogy.

After the performance, an informal question-and-answer gathering will bring the dance company into The Egg lobby for everyone who wants to meet Brown and her dancers.

Tickets to the performance at The Egg are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. They may be picked up at the Yulman Theatre Box Office on weekdays from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. or at the Visual Arts Building office from 3 to 4:30 p.m. beginning Oct. 16.

The dance residency, now in its sixth year, is made possible by a generous gift from Sue and Gus Davis ‘59 in memory of their daughter, Stephanie C. Davis, who was a modern dancer and environmental activist with a lifelong love of the performing arts.

 

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