Camille A. Brown Takes Off With Two Awards in Two Weeks
Photo Courtesy Camille A. Brown.
Sometimes with artists, when it rains, it pours. That's certainly the case for choreographer Camille A. Brown, who in the past two weeks has won two high-profile awards, in addition to keeping busy with her #BlackGirlMovement activism.
Two weeks ago, Jacob's Pillow announced they would be honoring Brown with the 10th Annual Jacob's Pillow Award, including an unrestricted $25,000 cash prize, an engagement at next summer's festival and a Creative Development Residency. This prize—especially with the added bonus of a performance opportunity and creative residency—is enough to skyrocket Camille A. Brown & Dancers into a year of major success.
Fana Fraser and Beatrice Capote in Brown's Black Girl: Linguistic Play. Photo by Christopher Duggan.
It makes sense that both organizations chose to invest in Brown's work. She has constantly made giving back a priority—even with all this rapid success, she hasn't slowed down her activism one bit. Brown and her company sponsored the Black Girl Movement Conference this week, a sold-out three day event where Brown gave several presentations and performed excerpts from her magical Black Girl: Linguistic Play. (Follow her live-tweet of the conference here.) And I'm sure she'll continue her multi-faced outreach efforts with the increased funding, including her Black Girl Spectrum community engagement initiative and The Gathering, an annual meeting of black dance artists.
The momentum growing around Brown and her company is well deserved, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she does next.
The cast of Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise in rehearsal. Photo by Stephanie Berger, Courtesy The Shed
Akram Khan loves to dive into genres he is unfamiliar with. While his own movement vocabulary is a hybrid of kathak and contemporary dance, he has choreographed a new Giselle for English National Ballet, collaborated with flamenco artist Israel Galván and made a dance theater duet with film star Juliette Binoche. Now, in between touring Xenos, his final full-length solo, and several other projects, he's found time to tackle kung fu. Khan is part of the collaborative team behind Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise, a blockbuster musical based on themes of migration and the fight for survival, running June 22–July 27. Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and featuring a score that remixes songs by Sia, it's part of the inaugural season of The Shed, a new venue in New York City.