“How often do we get the chance to see ourselves through a black girl’s eyes?” asks choreographer Camille A. Brown.
Brown’s exhilarating portraits of black girlhood are distilled through street games and social dances handed down through generations of the African diaspora in BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, which comes to Cal Performances in Berkeley on Dec. 8. Intricate polyrhythms and a rich gestural language tell intensely personal stories that remind us how childhood play builds one’s sense of self, and that torpedoes reductive ideas often associated with black girlhood.
I caught up with Brown in September in New York City (where BLACK GIRL premiered in 2015) in a Chinese tea shop opposite New York's City Center, where Camille and her dancers were fitting costumes.