P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2001
February 1, 2002
Ronald K. Brown Brings Evidence to MASS MoCA
The ensemble will perform Ebony Magazine to a Village, Walking Out the Dark, and Upside Down. Upside Down begins with the premonition of community mourning. The dance continues as a race towards individual destiny. The score begins with Malian vocalist Oumou Sangare's Kun Fe Ko (The Uncertainty of Things), a song that proclaims that the destiny of a child is in God's hands. The remainder of Upside Down is set to Fela Anikulapo Kuti's song of the same title, which tells of chaos, corruption and greed. The dance uses the loss of a community member as a call for solidarity.
Ebony Magazine to a Village is set to an original score by Wunmi Olaiya and begins with a parade of individuals preoccupied with their own beauty. The mantra in the score, "Do you see what I see?" Becomes a challenge to one's sense of the world. The most recent work, Walking Out the Dark, is constructed as a series of transformative rituals, using the metaphor of emerging into the light from a dark cave. The text is a series of letters by Brown with a score by Philip Hamilton. The movement is a fusion of spiritual dances from Benin, Cuba, Bahia, and the Ivory Coast.
Brooklyn born Ronald K. Brown founded Evidence in 1985 while still a teenager, and the troupe has become of the nation's finest: According to The Columbus Dispatch Evidence is "a company that is finely honed and rehearsed, that dances with passion and commitment." In addition to his work with Evidence, Brown has created work for African American Dance Ensemble, Philadanco, Cleo Parker Robinson, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in collaboration with Donald McKayle, Maimouna Keita West African Dance School, Def Dance Jam Workshop, Ailey II and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Brown has received numerous awards and fellowships including a National Endowment for the Arts Choreographers' Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Choreography, Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund Fellowship, a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) and a Black Theater Alliance Award. In 2000 he was named a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow in Choreography and Def Dance Jam Mentor of the Year.
Ron K. Brown and Evidence are sponsored by the Porches Inn at MASS MoCA. Partial funding comes from the W. Ford Schuman Fund for the Arts at Williams.
There will also be an afternoon celebration of the African Diaspora on Saturday, March 2, beginning at 1 P.M. co- presented with Williams College. The second annual Williams College Stalwart Originality Conference features film screenings and live performances by Williams' most talented student filmmakers, musical groups, and performance artists. Performances will focus on the religious, cultural, and familial ties that bind the African-American community.
Tickets to Ronald K. Brown & Evidence are $25.50 for orchestra seats, $21.50 for mezzanine and $17 for students with ID and are available by calling the MASS MoCA Box Office at 413.662.2111 or by visiting www.massmoca.org. Tickets may also be purchased in person from 11-5 every day except Tuesday at MASS MoCA off Marshall St. in North Adams, Mass. Seating is limited, and advance reservations are recommended. Tickets for the afternoon Stalwart Originality conference are $5. MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on a 13- acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA focuses on the work of visual and performing artists charting new territory.
For Immediate Release