ink

World Premiere: December 2, 2017 - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

“I see black people as superheroes because we keep rising.”
~ Question Bridge: Black Males in America (2012)

“ink” celebrates the rituals, gestural vocabulary, and traditions that remain ingrained within the lineage of the African Diaspora and reclaims African-Americans narratives by showcasing their authenticity. The work examines the culture of Black life that is often appropriated, rewritten, or silenced.

In collaboration with Music Director Allison Miller, percussionist Wilson Torres, violinist Juliette Jones, and composer/pianist Scott Patterson, “ink,” is the final installation of Brown’s dance theatre trilogy about identity (along with “Mr. TOL E. RAncE”- 2012, “BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play” – 2015). Together, using the rhythms and sounds of traditional African and handmade instruments as its center, the work travels through time with elements of Blues, Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Swing. This musical landscape embodies its own storytelling. The movement is an amalgamation of African-American social dance, African, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Hip-Hop. Through self-empowerment, Black love, brotherhood, exhaustion and resilience, community and fellowship, “ink” depicts the pedestrian interactions of individuals and relationships as grounds for accessing one’s innate super powers and finding liberation.

CREATIVE TEAM

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Camille A. Brown
DANCERS: Beatrice Capote, Kendra 'Vie Boheme' Dennard, Timothy Edwards, Catherine Foster, Juel D. Lane, Maleek Washington
MUSICIANS: Juliette Jones, Wilson R. Torres, Allison Miller and Scott Patterson
MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Allison Miller
DRAMATURGS: Daniel Banks, Kamilah Forbes, Talvin Wilks
LIGHTING & SCENIC DESIGNER: David L. Arsenault
COSTUME STYLIST: Mayte Natalio
SOUND DESIGNER: Justin Ellington

SPECIAL THANKS

The lead commissioners for ink are Peak Performances @ Montclair State University, NJ and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), with support from the Lumberyard. ink also received co-commissioning support from ASU Gammage.

The creation and presentation of ink was made possible by The New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the Howard Gilman Foundation.

ink was given its original creative development residency by The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance in partnership with The Evelyn Sharp/CalArtsSummer Choreographic Residency. The development of ink was made possible, in part, by the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University with support from the Princess Grace Foundation. The work is also being created, in part, during a production residency at ASU Gammage, University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium, 2017 Off-Shore Creation Residency at The Yard and creative residencies at Peak Performances @ Montclair State University, NJ, Jacob’s Pillow, Hobart & William Smith Colleges and CUNY Dance Initiative at Kingsborough Community College.

PRESS

“Ink, is, ultimately, embodied history that touches hearts and souls… Her wheelhouse has been mining black identity and her works speak to the “woke” among her audiences, but even more important, they speak to the uninitiated teasing out questions, comments and realization from those for whom the depictions of intimate “souls of black folk” – to borrow a turn of phrase from W.E.B. Dubois – are outside their experience or understanding.” Read full article
— DC Metro Theater Arts


“Camille A. Brown works like a fine jeweler on her choreography… beautiful study of personal and even secretive gestures and rituals… Brown’s seven dancers, including her, can make you believe that whole weather systems are coursing through their bodies”
— The Washington Post

More:

The Mask of Survival: Black Performance in Dance, The Offing

Mara Measor