Mixed repertory including:
Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE’s body of work blends contemporary, African, Caribbean, and social dance forms to express spirituality, African-American and diaspora culture and the beauty of movement in many forms. Grace, Brown’s breakout piece performed first by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 20 years ago, is a joyous and moving ode to God’s love as dancers make a journey to the promised land and features music by Duke Ellington as well as Afro-Pop beats. A newly commissioned companion piece, Mercy, is an ethereal movement meditation that seeks to guide our hearts set to music by Meshell Ndegeocello, originally composed for the company with acoustic guitar and vibraphone.
“...’Grace’ achieves grace, like an answered prayer, but ‘Mercy’ is a plea for mercy, as yet unanswered. It’s honest, and the truth it tells should make us all the more grateful for anything like ‘Grace’.” (The New York Times)
This event will be captioned, with other accessibility services available upon request.
Notes from Northrop Director of Programming Kristen Brogdon
As the Performances Intern at the American Dance Festival in 1997, I saw a performance of Chuck Davis’ African American Dance Ensemble with a new work by Ronald K. Brown. I had studied with Brown’s rehearsal director for a semester when she was a guest teacher in the dance program at Duke, and seeing his choreography danced by professionals was an absolute thrill. Two years later, I was working at the Kennedy Center when Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre performed Grace, Ron’s first work for the Ailey company and the piece that put him on the broader map as a choreographer. Shortly after, Ron brought the work into his own company EVIDENCE. I’ve had the good fortune of seeing Grace performed by both companies and am happy we can host it. Mercy was commissioned for the 20th anniversary of Grace and the 35th anniversary of EVIDENCE and the two pieces showcase the company’s dancers and their incredible technique which blends contemporary, African, Caribbean and social dance forms. Ron is also an amazing teacher for dancers of all levels and is very skilled at engaging communities while on tour. I included this company in the season both because of their stellar dancing and their rich and deep residency work. The company has spent time in the Twin Cities before, courtesy of The Ordway, which generously agreed that we should present the company at Northrop.