When you hear the phrase “black girl,” what comes to mind? Created by Camille A. Brown & Dancers with pianist Scott Patterson and electric bassist Tracy Wormworth, BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play reveals the complexity of carving out a self-defined identity as a black female in urban American culture. Black women in our society are often limited to portrayals in terms of their strength, resiliency, or trauma — Brown and her collaborators interrogate those narratives by representing a nuanced spectrum of black womanhood in our racially and politically charged world.
Music for these evenings is live, and Brown uses the rhythmic play of African-American dance vernacular — including social dancing, double dutch, steppin’, tap, Juba, ring shout, and gesture — as the black woman’s domain to evoke childhood memories of self-discovery. The performers move from childhood innocence to girlhood awareness to maturity, a journey from play to protest, all the while shaped by their environments, the bonds of sisterhood, and society at large.
Each performance culminates with “The Dialogue,” on-stage conversation and interaction between audience and artists. Moderators for these conversations include Mark Anthony Neal, L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy, Stacey Muhammad, Scheherazade Tillet, dream hampton, and Dr. Kyra Gaunt, Ph.D.. Watch dream hampton in conversation with Mark Anthony Neal on Left of Black in 2012, and on Saturday, September 26 join the artists and moderater dream hampton for “Celebration of Black Women Night,” an evening celebrating and elevating the spectrum of black womanhood. Tickets and more information are available here.
+ Check out inspiration photos and a countdown until the premiere
+ Listen to NPR’s All Things Considered for a feature on Camille A. Brown and BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play
+ Read an interview with Camille A. Brown in The Dance Enthusiast
+ Get ready with an excerpt (below) from BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play.