Ronald K. Brown & Evidence, A Dance Company Return to Joyce Theater, Now thru 7/14
Ronald K. Brown and Evidence, A Dance Company return to The Joyce Theater for their annual New York season tonight, July 9 through July 14, 2012 with four new company members, new works and new collaborators. This frisson of excitement is the hallmark of the season, which will include two programs.
Program A includes the company premiere of GATEKEEPERS (1999), originally commissioned by Philadanco. The work, danced to music by Wunmi Olaiya,explores the concept of inter-generational caretaking and ancestors waiting at the door of heaven for their descendants to arrive.
The evening continues with the New York premiere of EVERYBODY AT THE TABLE, a new section of the longer work, ON EARTH TOGETHER* (2011). Here, Brown continues his exploration of the cultural and social implications inherent in Stevie Wonder’s music. The work will be danced to live accompaniment by musical guest artists.
New sections HIGHER GROUND, AS, THEY WON’T GO WHEN I GOand LIVING FOR THE CITY were commissioned by, and created during residencies at, different presenting and academic institutions. Recording artist Peven Everett, Grammy-winner Gordon Chambers, Caron Wheeler (formerly of Soul II Soul) and Andrea Sojola, NaTasha Yvette Williams and Trevon Davis from The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess will be accompanying the work on various days.
Program B includes beloved Evidence repertory, including SEEKING HEALING II, an excerpt from WALKING OUT THE DARK (2001), a dance that integrates movement, music, and text to tell the story of spiritual awakening danced to an original vocal score by Philip Hamilton, with additional music by Sweet Honey in the Rock and Francisco Mora.
COME YE (2003) is a call for peace, inspired by the life, legacy and music of Nina Simone. The evening also includes the critically acclaimed UPSIDE DOWN (1998) which focuses on community mourning, and uses the loss of a member as a call to solidarity and a reflection on destiny. It is set to Malian vocalist Oumou Sangare’s “Kun Fe Ko (The Uncertainty of Things)” and Fela Kuti’s song “Upside Down.”
Evidence, A Dance Company performs tonight, July 9 through July 14, 2012. Performance schedule: Mon-Wed 7:30pm; Thu-Fri 8pm; Sat 2pm & 8pm. Dance Chat: Thu, July 12th at 7pm. For tickets and more information, call Joyce Charge at 212-242-0800 or visit joyce.org. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street.
Evidence, A Dance Company’s unmistakable aesthetic is rooted in traditional African dance, urban social dance vernacular and contemporary movement. The repertory reflects the company’s mission to promote a deeper understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition, spirituality, community responsibility and liberation. While meeting ever increasing performance demands, the company remains committed to deepening community-based relationships. In 2013, Evidence, A Dance Company will be the first company slated for a two-year residency with BRIC Arts Media Bklyn at the new BRIC Arts|Media House. During the residency, the company will develop a new arts education program, working with schools and the local community to add dancers from the program to an expanded performance of ON EARTH TOGETHER/EVERYBODY AT THE TABLE. For more information, visit www.evidencedance.com.
Ronald K. Brown continues to receive honors and accolades for his work. He was recently presented with the Black Theater Alliance Award for “Gye Nyame” as performed by Chicago’s Muntu Dance Theater and the 2012 Fred & Adele Astaire Award for Outstanding Choreographer in a Broadway show for his work on The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Revival Of A Musical.
Photo credit: Julieta Cervantes