Dancers Trending

Ron K. Brown: Where Struggle Meets Spirituality

If you are looking for juicy movement carried on cross-cultural currents, there’s no choreographer more satisfying than Ronald K. Brown. When he dances, a force seems to lift him upward but also keep him close to the Earth. Chalk it up to the African-infused vocabulary that comes naturally to him. He’s trained his company to dance with the same commitment, but to my eye, no one dances quite like Brown himself.

So, for a special treat during the 30th anniversary of his company Evidence, which starts today, he is performing a solo, Through Time and Culture, made last year.

Ron K. Bown's Evidence in The Subtle One, photo by Ayodele Casel.

 In this feature story, written during Evidence’s 25th anniversary, Karyn Collins traces Brown from a little boy who made his first dance after seeing an Ailey performance, to the 18-year-old who started his own company, to the sought-after choreographer he has become. She also talks to the dancers about how they transfer the "gumbo' of global dance forms that reside naturally in his body to their bodies.

This video collage of his work over time shows his dancers performing his movement—deliciously—plus a short clip of his own dancing. Like gospel music, his choreography is guided by both struggle and spirituality.

In this "Choreography in Focus," which Ron and I shot in 2012, he talks about admiring Mary Anthony’s dances because they were “about people." He also describes how he got the entire cast of the Broadway musical Porgy and Bess up on their feet dancing—for which he won an Astaire Award. He even added a scene that helped define Broadway star Audra McDonald’s character through movement.

One thing is sure: Of all the choreographers whose companies have made it to 30, Ron Brown is the youngest.

Evidence brings two programs to the Joyce, February 24 to March 1. For tickets, click here.

Dancer Voices
Silas Farley in his Songs from the Spirit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Rosalie O'Connor, Courtesy Farley

I dance to encourage others. The longer I dance, the more I see that much of my real work is to speak life-giving words to my fellow artists. This is a multidimensionally grueling profession. I count it a privilege to remind my colleagues of how they are bringing beauty into the world through their craft. I recently noticed significant artistic growth in a fellow dancer, and when I verbalized what I saw, he beamed. The impact of positive feedback is deeper than we realize.

Keep reading... Show less
UA Dance Ensemble members Candice Barth and Gregory Taylor in Jessica Lang's "Among the Stars." Photo by Ed Flores, courtesy University of Arizona

If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.

The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:

Keep reading... Show less
Dancers Trending
Alice Sheppard/Kinetic Light in DESCENT, which our readers chose as last year's "Most Moving Performance." Photo by Jay Newman, courtesy Kinetic Light

Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.

We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.

Keep reading... Show less
Dance Training
Robin Worrall via Unsplash

Social media has made the dance world a lot smaller, giving users instant access to artists and companies around the world. For aspiring pros, platforms like Instagram can offer a tantalizing glimpse into the life of a working performer. But there's a fine line between taking advantage of what social media can offer and relying too heavily on it.

Keep reading... Show less

mailbox

Get Dance Magazine in your inbox