Winner of four Princess Grace Foundation dance awards, Camille A. Brown Dance Company will be performing at 7:30 tonight at the Ford Center. The company will be featuring a repertory show with pieces from “Black Girl: Linguistic Play” and “Mr. TOL E. RAncE.”
“Mr. TOL E. RAncE” won a Bessie Award in 2014 for Outstanding Performance. The choreography in this show is about black stereotypes in the media and African-American humor. It’s originally a two act show, but during tonight’s show only the first act will be performed, Brown said.
“Black Girl: Linguistic Play” was a nominee for the 2016 Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance. The show tells the story of an African-American girl through a dance of an African-American girl’s shoes.
“For me, it’s just telling a black girl’s story through her lens, which is different than a white male lens or a white female lens,” Brown said.
These performances are unique not only because of the use of African-American actors but also because they are stories specifically about people of color.
According to Kate Meacham, marketing director at the Ford Center, Brown’s dance style is unique because she mixes traditional styles of dance with new ones. Meacham said Brown has training in traditional dance, like ballet, but her current showcase is different from anything the Ford Center has ever had before because of its scope of dance.
Brown’s dances feature a mix of many different types of dance, from social to traditional to hip-hop. This refreshing take did not go unnoticed by Julia Aubrey, Ford Center director, who saw one of Brown’s showcases last year.
“The unique subject matter and vitality/creativeness of the choreography and the physical abilities of the dancers is why I selected this company for our modern dance offering,” Aubrey said.
Aubrey said Brown left quite an impression within the Oxford community during her visit to campus last month.
“Everyone that came in contact with the artist was impressed by her passion and thoughtful remarks,” she said. “A great deal of enthusiasm was generated the short time Camille was on campus.”
Aubrey said this show was coordinated with Black History Month and Women’s Empowerment Month celebrations.
“The most important message is the subject matter that is being expressed physically on stage,” Aubrey said.
The Ford Center diversifies its presentations to offer new and refreshing content to keep students and the Oxford community engaged, according to Aubrey.
Meacham said the Ford Center staff has been actively working with campus groups to get more students to come see the show, including the Student Activity Association and the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement, among others.