Camille A. Brown has made a name for herself as a star choreographer in the dance world, receiving accolades notably but not limited to the Princess Grace Award, TED Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, USA Jay Franke & David Herro Fellowship and a Bessie Award. She’s graced the covers of dance magazines and performed at multiple TED conferences, choreographed for Broadway and television with John Legend’s Jesus Christ Superstar on NBC. But to speak to Brown, you’d never know it. It’s clear that the work itself is the prize she values most, as the soft-spoken Brown lights up with delight when discussing past and future projects.
Her journey was not one of overnight success but one of perseverance and learning that channeling her most personal anxieties and the stories that she found fascinating would open the most doors. Thinking outside of the box of only being a dancer allowed her to embrace all of who she is and Brown continues to expand her talents, pressing up against the confines of the male-dominated world of choreography as a black woman. Currently, Brown’s dance company Camille A. Brown & Dancers is touring the country, stopping at The Joyce Theatre in New York City in early February. Her choreographic work on the acclaimed show Choir Boy written by the Oscar-winning Moonlight writer Tarell Alvin is playing on Broadway. I spoke with Brown about her journey, her training and what advice she’d give to young women who want to succeed in this field.