Classes, business, and gym sessions have migrated to online platforms and now the arts have followed suit.
Camille A. Brown, a prolific Black female choreographer, will host live social dance classes on her Instagram page every Monday 2pm EST for five weeks. Founded on the belief that social dance is a powerful tool for social change, Brown has united with world-class performers to bring dance beyond the stage and into our homes. While the COVID-19 pandemic has closed our arts centers and classes, open access streaming will help build community when we need it the most.
Camille A. Brown works to reclaim the cultural narrative of African American identity though dance. She choreographed the Tony Award Winning Broadway production of Once on This Island, Emmy Award-winning special Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, and was nominated in 2019 for Tony Award for Best Choreography in 2019 for Choir Boy. A Ted Fellow whose video “a visual history of social dance,” has been viewed over 2.7 million times, Ms. Brown is an unparalleled coach for anyone who is curious to try their hand at social dance this month.
The livestream classes schedule is spread across five weeks, calling on collaboration from five other top dancers. Open for the whole family, these classes mix movement, music, and history together for an educational workout that Brown hopes will open dialogue about race, culture, and identity.
Social Dance Class Schedule
Mar 30 – Juel D. Lane
Apr 6 – Tim Edwards and Maleek Washington
Apr 13 – Quilan Arnold
Apr 20 – Cat Foster
Apr 27 – Maleek Washington
Camille A. Brown & Dancers Community Outreach
Brown founded her Bessie Award-winning company Camille A. Brown & Dancers in 2006. The troupe have performed worldwide, engaging audiences by telling stories that connect history with current social-political issues. However, social dance has never been just about observation, but rather participation. The company’s community outreach program, aptly named EVERY BODY MOVE (EBM), offers tailored workshops aimed at inciting ambitious collective action.
Workshop highlights include Black Girl Spectrum, a ten-session program opening space to empower Black girls and women through dance, as well as the Creative Action Lab, which provides instruction for artists and educators in directing campaigns and projects for local change. Now, Ms. Brown has seized the opportunity to reach even larger audiences and bring you the chance to join this movement for social change through these five live dance classes.
Further Reading on Camille A. Brown
Broadway Magazine explores Camille A. Brown’s legacy in a celebration of Black History Month: https://www.broadway.com/buzz/198531/celebrating-black-history-month-hailey-kilgore-honors-epitome-of-a-legend-camille-a-brown/
Watch Brown’s TedEd talk on a “A Visual History of Social Dance in 25 Moves.”
We all genuinely and deeply care about the art and community experiences that happen at Newman Center. As part of our community outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic we will be highlighting local, past, and upcoming Newman Center Presents artists. We’ll be bringing you news on projects, live streams, and virtual resources.
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