During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I had the wonderful opportunity of spending the weekend at the Kennedy Center. This weekend marked a great feat in discourse and dance history as Camille A. Brown & Dancers made their debut at the Kennedy Center. I saw the second night of the performance where this four time Princess Grace Award Winner presented Ink. The following night included in the 40th Kennedy Center Honors that airs December 26 on CBS. (Honorees include: Carmen De Lavallade, Gloria Estefan, LL COOL J, Norman Lear and Lionel Richie.) This weekend at the Kennedy Center also celebrated Fred Astaire, another Kennedy Center Honoree.
Anyways, back to Camille A. Brown… This performance attracted everyone: young and old, different ethnicities and different socioeconomic statuses. I was lucky enough to have a box seat at this performance where I was sat next to presitigious memebers of today’s arts and culture. Other attendees included the Editor of Essence, Vanessa K. De Luca and Virgina Johnson, Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem (who just finished the European Tour).
The night presented Ms. Brown’s Original work Ink that infused cultural movement, post modern gesturalism, a blend of live and recorded movement completely stripped. The stage was completely stripped, and the only set was a broken painting hung on either side and the live music set up in between the two. What was extraordinary about this performance was it was a relevant mark at Kennedy Center and Dance History because it placed Post Modern movement at the center of the dance world. Creating a large conversation about the culture and evolution of the opposite side of technical classical dance.
As the performance was interesting, the thing that I admired most about the piece was Ms. Brown’s ability to create a conversation between two dancers based on movement. It is something that classical ballet, and even contemporary ballet lacks. It wasn’t just telling a story, but it was her ability to almost portray a dailogue of movement between two people on stage with music. While we all know post-modern dance isn’t really my thing, nor does the trends of post-modern dance play a huge influencial factor in Classical Ballet- It was interesting to see different bodytypes, lack of technique, and almost a since of the abondonment from anything remotely classical on stage at the Kennedy Center; especially on the evening prior to the Kennedy Center Awards.
I would have included more of the names and quotes from the program but I lost my program book following the performance. But bravo to all of the dancers.