651 Presents Camille A. Brown & Dancers at Brooklyn Kumble Theater Today

Camille A. Brown & Dancers, recognized for its visceral movement and unflinching approach to comedic and controversial themes, announces its upcoming New York return of Camille A. Brown's 2013 Mr. TOL E. RAncE. Presented as part of the 651 Arts 25th Anniversary Season, Black Dance: Traditions and Transformation series, the program will run two-­?nights at the Kumble Theater in Brooklyn, today and tomorrow, December 6-­?7, 2013. Scott Patterson will play live the original eclectic piano score-composed by Patterson, Brandon McCune, Jonathan Melville Pratt and Kurt "KC" Clayton.

Mr. TOL E. RAncE embodies themes of American history as it celebrates African-­?American humor and masterfully intertwines comedy, live animation, theater and explosive dance, to examine minstrelsy in its past and even present forms. The piece sheds light on what happens to the human spirit behind the mask, creating a universal dialogue about perception and its influence on all races. The work is heavily influenced by Spike Lee's film Bamboozled as well as Mel Watkins' book "On The Real Side" and Dave Chappelle's "dancing vs. shuffling" analogy. Brown brought in dramaturges Talvin Wilks and Kamilah Forbes as well as theater coach J. Michael Kinsey to assist in the creation of this vibrant and poignant evening length work. The last 30-­?mins of the performance engages the audience in a conversation, lead by choreographer Camille A. Brown.

"We've been humbled by the impact TOL E. RAncE has had on all generations in the audiences," says choreographer Camille A. Brown. "They've felt inspired to continue the dialogue of this piece as it relates to intersectionality, social justice and the stereotypes facing them personally. We're all dealing with the same issues one way or another- which encourages me to create work that brings forth understanding and transforms ordinary life into something magical."

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by Barnett Serchuk