New York-based Camille A. Brown & Dancers bring their gutsy moves and virtuosic musicality to The O’Shaughnessy stage for one night only February 21 at 7:30pm. A Women of Substance event, The O’Shaughnessy and Ordway Center for the Performing Arts will co-present the acclaimed company, who will perform excerpts from the regional premiere of the Bessie Award-winning “Mr. TOL E. RAncE,” the Midwest preview of “Black Girl: Linguistic Play” and “New Second Line.” The company uses high theatricality and the aesthetics of African, ballet, contemporary, tap and social dances to tell stories that connect history with contemporary American culture.
In the new work “Black Girl: Linguistic Play,” Camille A. Brown & Dancers explore the complexities of carving out a positive identity as a black female.
“Mr. TOL E. RAncE” was inspired by Mel Watkins’ book, “On The Real Side: From Slavery to Chris Rock,” Spike Lee’s controversial film, “Bamboozled,” and Dave Chappelle’s “dancing vs. shuffling” analogy. This dance theater work celebrates African-American humor and examines “the mask” of survival and the “double consciousness” (W.E.B. DuBois) of the black performer throughout history and the stereotypical roles dominating current popular black culture.
Inspired by the events of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, “New Second Line” is a celebration of the spirit and culture of the people of New Orleans. In New Orleans, traditional brass band parades are essential to weddings, social events, and most notably, funerals. The people who follow the parade, dancing with high energy and exuberance, are known as the “second line.”
Camille A. Brown has sought to defy the boundaries between dance and theatre. Known for high theatricality, gutsy moves and virtuosic musicality, Camille A. Brown & Dancers soar through history like a whirlwind. The company’s new work depicts the complexities of carving out a positive identity as a Black female in urban American culture. Combining history and musicology with the fantastical approach of imagery, this work sheds light on the grand narrative and dialogs about feminism, patriarchy, and how women negotiate themselves within this world. Camille A. Brown & Dancers use this theatricality and the aesthetics of modern, hip-hop, African, ballet and tap dances to tell stories that connect history with contemporary culture. This February, the company will present the regional premieres of “Black Girl: Linguistic Play” and “Mr. TOL E. RAncE.”
The O’Shaughnessy Theatre
2004 Randolph Ave
St Paul, MN 55105