Sarah Chambless Federer
New Orleans, LA (December 12, 2016) - The New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) and The NOCCA Institute will present Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE for three performances at NOCCA's Freda Lupin Memorial Hall on Friday and Saturday, January 27 and 28 at 8PM and Sunday, January 29 at 2PM. With a remarkable gift for telling stories, Ronald K. Brown masterfully creates spiritual and earthy dances that move the mind and the heart with an "undeniable sense of joy" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). His superbly articulate dancers embody his unique style of blending contemporary dance with African and Afro-Caribbean rhythms and dance forms.
Capturing the spirit of community, the company will be joined by a multigenerational, New Orleans-based cast of up to 30 for the uplifting finale On Earth Together, set to the music of Stevie Wonder. The program also includes the poetically spiritual Four Corners, originally created for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Additionally, EVIDENCE includes two dancers with Louisiana roots - rehearsal director, dancer and New Roads, Louisiana native Clarice Young; and New Orleans native Courtney Paige Ross, who is an alumna of the NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance and NOCCA
Tickets are $50 and are available online at NOBAdance.com, by calling 504-522-0996 or in person at NOBA's Box Office at 935 Gravier Street, Suite 800. Discounted tickets for students and subscriptions for the remainder of NOBA's 2017 season are also available.
Audience discussions with Brown and the dancers will be held immediately following the performances on both January 27 and 28.
About On Earth Together - A Community Project, and Four Corners
Hailed by The New Yorker as "a celebration of fellowship," On Earth Together (2011), set to a medley of songs by the iconic Stevie Wonder, is an uplifting work about love, community, family, connectedness, care and being a compassionate citizen in the world. Brown asserts, "The more I discover and imagine, the more I see the work as a commitment to making the world a better place. The music of Stevie Wonder often speaks to the state of the world, asking questions of oneself and to society at large." For this special edition of On Earth Together, Brown and Associate Director Arcell Cabaug will audition, rehearse and incorporate 30 local participants into the work in the week leading up to the performances. This multigenerational cast will be selected from the faculty and students of presenting partners NOCCA and NOBA, through the NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance's programs for youth and senior citizens. This residency builds on Brown and Cabaug's work as Chevron Master Artists in Residence for the NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance's three-week July 2016 Summer Intensive.
Editor's Note: Camera/interview opportunities at the community rehearsals will be available on January 24-27. For additional details, contact Sarah Chambless Federer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 985-373-5271.
In Four Corners (2013), dancers depict spiritual seekers amid four angels standing on the corners of the earth holding the four winds. Created in 2013 for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Brown began with the song Lamentations by his friend, recording artist Carl Hancock Rux. Drawing from West African and modern dance influences, the work uses grounded, earthy movements to portray figures who are burdened by grief but ultimately find peace, solace and freedom with the aid of "the angels in their corners" mentioned in Rux's text. The work is not a literal interpretation of Rux's lyrics, but Brown drew inspiration from the text to manifest storytelling through choreography. Brown expressed his love for poems, saying, "There's something about the rhythm and something about the richness of the spoken word that goes right into my heart. When I'm dreaming about movement or seeing movement, poetry comes out." Halfway through the dance, there is a shift in energy as the music changes to an undulating, pulsing lullaby by North African vocalist Yacoub, indicating that the winds of change are blowing. "Four Corners leaves you... breathless, but feels like a joyride" (New York Post).
About the Company
EVIDENCE was founded by choreographer and artistic director Ronald K. Brown in 1985 and is based in Brooklyn, New York. The company focuses on the seamless integration of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word. Through work, EVIDENCE provides a unique view of human struggles, tragedies and triumphs. Brown uses movement to reinforce the importance of community in African American culture and to acquaint audiences with the beauty of traditional African forms and rhythms. He is an advocate for the growth of the African American dance community and is instrumental in encouraging young dancers to choreograph and to develop careers in dance.
Brown's choreography is in high demand. He has set works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Jeune Ballet d'Afrique Noire, Ko-Thi Dance Company, Philadanco and others. He choreographed Regina Taylor's award-winning play Crowns, and won an AUDELCO Award for his work on that production. "I hope that when people see the work, their spirits are lifted. I am interested in sharing perspectives through modern dance, theater and kinetic storytelling. I want my work to be evidence of these perspectives," says Brown.
EVIDENCE now tours to more than 25 communities in the United States and abroad. The company has traveled to Cuba, Brazil, England, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Mexico, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa and Canada to perform, teach master classes and conduct lecture/demonstrations for individuals of all ages. EVIDENCE brings arts education and cultural connections to local communities that have historically lacked these experiences. Annually the company reaches an audience of more than 25,000.
EVIDENCE dancers from Louisiana
Clarice Young (Rehearsal Director/ Dancer) of New Roads, Louisiana, is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a BFA in dance. Young is the first recipient of the Evelyn Elizabeth Lochman Dance Scholarship in 2001 and received a full tuition scholarship to attend the America Dance Festival in 2003. She has performed with Francine E. Ott/The Walk, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Shani Collins Achille and Bridget L. Moore, to name a few. Young was featured in TRACE Magazine in 2007 as one of NYC's "dancers on the rise" and received a ChoreoQuest Award for mentoring at The Restoration Youth Arts Academy. She joined EVIDENCE, A Dance Company in 2007 and was appointed rehearsal director in 2011.
Courtney Paige Ross (Dancer) is a New Orleans native and a professional dancer and teaching artist. She began her formal dance training with the NORD/NOBA Center for Dance as a child. In middle school, she attended New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) and graduated from Lusher Charter School with a Certificate of Artistry in Dance. Courtney moved to NYC to attend the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program. While there, she studied and performed with many choreographers, such as Hope Boykin, Dwight Rhoden and Darrell Grand-Moultrie, to name a few. Upon graduating with honors in dance, she joined the Ailey II company. Ross performed in New Orleans with Ailey II in February of 2016 as part of NOBA's 2015-16 Season of Dance. Most recently, she appeared alongside Beyoncé in the 2016 VMA's. Ross is a recipient of the EVIDENCE Dance Company Beth Young Scholarship Certificate and has apprenticed with EVIDENCE since 2015. She is celebrating her first season with EVIDENCE this year.
The Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE residency is made possible by the NORDC/NOBA Center for Dance Chevron Master Artist Series. Hotel accommodations are provided by Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Ronald K. Brown / EVIDENCE is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts.
Editor's Note: For additional information on residency activities and interview/camera opportunities surrounding these activities, please contact Sarah Federer at email@example.com or 985-373-5271.
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NOBA is the Central Gulf region's premiere presenting and service organization dedicated solely to the art of dance. NOBA's dynamic Main Stage season annually features a diverse array of world-class companies and artists. Each year NOBA provides concerts, classes, workshops and lectures to more than 33,000 area dance enthusiasts of all ages. In addition, NOBA's nationally recognized award-winning education programs provide the youth of our community access to quality arts programs with over 5,500 tuition-free dance classes and workshops annually at twelve sites throughout the Greater New Orleans area.
The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) is a tuition-free arts conservatory for high school students and an agency of the State of Louisiana. The NOCCA Institute, a non-profit organization, provides support and advocacy for NOCCA. The Institute offers access to excellence in the arts for students, faculty, and the community-at-large. For information, please visit www.NOCCA.com and www.NOCCAInstitute.com.
NOBA is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the NEA, a Federal agency; a Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans and administered by the Arts Council of New Orleans (ACNO); and a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, as administered by ACNO. Ronald K Brown/Evidence is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts.