News

February 18, 2020

Salem College Presents Camille A. Brown and Dancers on March 27

Camille Brown; photo credit: Josefina Santos

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (FEBRUARY 18, 2020)—Salem College is presenting a performance by the renowned Camille A. Brown and Dancers on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. in Hanes Auditorium. Hanes Auditorium is located inside the Salem College Elberson Fine Arts Center, which can be accessed from the intersection of East Salem Avenue and Rams Drive.

The performance, which is free and open to the public, is part of the June Porter Johnson Endowment for the Arts at Salem College. Reservations are not required. In addition to the March 27 public performance, Camille A. Brown and Dancers will be in residency at Salem College March 25 through 27 and will work with Salem College students across several disciplines.

Heidi Echols, MFA, Chair and Professor of Dance Studies, has been working for more than a year to bring Camille A. Brown and Dancers to Salem. “Camille A. Brown’s approach to cultural themes through visceral movement and socio-political dialogues has a profound impact for our students and community,” Echols said. “Her work is changing the traditional black female choreographer narrative and the female students at Salem College are ready to hear it!”

The Tony Award nominated choreographer and educator Camille A. Brown is an artistic powerhouse. Recently recognized as an individual Best of Dance 2019 by the New York Times, her accomplishments range from TED talks to Broadway musicals. Her company has performed at venues from the Kennedy Center to distinguished college campuses across the United States. Her trailblazing use of dance, live music, and theatrical nuance layered with social dance movement has inspired and entertained thousands. Combining gestural aesthetics with the movement vocabulary of Modern, Hip Hop, African and Tap, she weaves stories about the African American experience that both dispel myths and reclaim narratives while connecting history with contemporary culture.​

As Artistic Director of Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Ms. Brown strives to instill curiosity and reflection in diverse audiences through her emotionally raw and thought-provoking work. Her driving passion is to empower Black bodies to tell their story using their own language(s) through movement and dialogue. Through the company, Ms. Brown provides outreach activities to students, young adults, and incarcerated women and men across the country.​

This performance will feature selected solo and duet highlights from two of the African American trilogy works, “Mr. TOL E. RAncE” and “ink,” that showcase her massive talent. In addition, audiences will be treated to the duet work “Touch and Agree” by company member and UNCSA alum Juel Lane. “Touch and Agree” was originally commissioned for Ailey II. Ms. Brown and Mr. Lane jointly received the UNCSA Alumni Artpreneur Award in October of 2019.

Past performing artists at Salem College as part of the June Porter Johnson Endowment for the Arts at Salem College include: Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Laurie Anderson, Twyla Tharp, and Juane Quick-to-See Smith.

About Camille A. Brown

Camille A. Brown is a prolific Black female choreographer reclaiming the cultural narrative of African American identity. Her bold work taps into both ancestral stories and contemporary culture to capture a range of deeply personal experiences. Ms. Brown is a four-time Princess Grace Award winner, a Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner, Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, and TED Fellow, among others. Her work has been commissioned by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Broadway theaters, and other prominent institutions.

Currently, Ms. Brown is performing her new work “ink,” the final installation of the company’s trilogy about culture, race and identity. “ink” follows the Bessie Award-winning “Mr. TOL E. RAncE” (2012) and Bessie-nominated “BLACK GIRL:Linguistic Play” (2015). Drawing on historic and contemporary rhythms, rituals, and gestural vocabulary of the African Diaspora, “ink” reclaims African American narratives by showcasing their authenticity. The work examines the culture of Black life that is often appropriated, rewritten, or silenced. Recently, Camille A. Brown and Dancers was honored to partner with Google Arts & Culture on an exciting project for Black History Month exploring the story of Black history and culture through dance where “ink” was highlighted and filmed at Brooklyn Historical Society.

Ms. Brown is nominated for a Tony Award for Best Choreography and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography for her work on “Choir Boy.” She is the choreographer for the Emmy Award Winning special, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” and is the choreographer for The Tony Award Winning Revival of “Once On This Island” on Broadway. For her work on this show, she also received Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Chita Rivera award nominations. For her choreography on “BELLA: An American Tall Tale,” Ms. Brown received an AUDELCO award and Lucille Lortel nomination. She is the choreographer for “Much Ado About Nothing,” directed by Kenny Leon, and “Once The Musical.” Ms. Brown is the choreographer for “TONI STONE” for RoundAbout Theatre, Ma Rainey’s “Black Bottom,” directed by George C. Wolfe (Netflix), and the Metropolitan Opera’s “Porgy & Bess.”

For Ms. Brown’s theater projects, her associate choreographers are Rickey Tripp and Mayte Natalio, and her assistant choreographers are Catherine Foster, Juel D. Lane, and Mayte Natalio. Her TED-Ed talk, “A Visual History of Social Dance in 25 Moves,” has more than 15 million views on Facebook.

Ms. Brown is a graduate of the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts and received a B.F.A. from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

About Salem Academy and College

Salem Academy and College is the oldest educational institution for girls and women in the United States. With more than 18,000 alumnae who serve as entrepreneurs, physicians, researchers, artists, lawyers, teachers, community volunteers, and corporate executives, Salem Academy and Salem College continues to educate the next generation of global leaders. For more information about Salem Academy, please visit salemacademy.com. For more information about Salem College, please visit salem.edu.