Viral videos bring the latest social dance trends into our homes. However, as the digital sphere explodes with dance, cultural and historical context is often neglected. As a result, we perpetuate unhealthy stereotypes and cultural insensitivity without even realizing it. Today, Camille A. Brown started to break that cycle for our BDF Young Dancers. They began to physically trace the evolution of social dance in the United States.
“Movement is progression, right?” Brown asked the dancers.
In the 1920s, culturally acceptable movements and gestures looked and felt a lot different than they do today. Yet those movements are still embedded in today’s latest dance crazes. While social dance continues to evolve, one thing remains the same: the social institution of dance provides an arena for people to safely communicate with one another.
Injecting social dance into the classroom is an effective way to hold a mirror up to society for our youth. It’s a task that Camille A. Brown excels at. In her artistic statement, Brown writes:
“Overall, I am striving to build a strong sense of storytelling from a black female perspective, stories that are based in current times and historic times, constantly connecting history with the contemporary; not a history lesson, but a journey and understanding of what is relevant to our present day lives. In this way we are able to provoke dialogue, to be technical and to be free of its constriction, moving between the tension of form and expression, story beyond technique. What we do is to bring those things together. Not just looking at the technique of the body but the language of the body and the history it carries. At the root, these stories are human stories.”
On Tuesday, Camille A. Brown & Dancers will share their artistry and social activism with excerpts of “Mr. Tol E. RAncE.” This Show & Tell is bound to leave you wanting more. If you’re in need of a social consciousness tune-up, which most of us are, then you won’t want to miss this.
IF YOU GO TO THIS EVENT
WHAT: Camille A. Brown & Dancers Show & Tell
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 15
WHERE: Schaeffer Theatre