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Camille A. Brown & Dancers 'ink'


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The final work in Duke Performances’ artist-in-residence Camille A. Brown’s visionary trilogy about being black in America, ink celebrates the expressive spirit and style of black men while mourning the way that style has been misunderstood and maligned. ink explores the beauty and power of everyday gesture and the spiritual nature of the ordinary, searching out the stories that live within the bodies of her dancers. The dancing is vivid, impressionistic, and evocative, an engrossing mix of contemporary cultural references and ancestral African imagery. Pulling, stirring, shaking, sewing: Brown and her company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, distill each action into its essence, then build it into evocative choreography. ink explores the evolution of African-American gestural language and, in doing so, reveals dramatic relationships between old and new. “Dramatically brilliant, physically exhilarating,” raves the New York Times, Brown “is clearly a force of nature.” This visionary choreographer has created an essential trilogy of works that redefine black identity within the evolving cultural landscape of this country: Mr. TOL E. RAncE, BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, and ink. Her series of three one-week residencies at Duke Performances marks the first time a single presenter has staged this trilogy in its entirety. Separately, the shows function as breathtaking stand-alone pieces; together, they form a striking commentary on perceptions of black identity. A courageous, unified epic expressed through visceral movement and unforgettable storytelling, her trilogy — presented here in reverse order — is at the vanguard of American dance.

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