New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media


Did you know NJ Stage offers FREE Event Listings? Nearly 100,000 listings were viewed in January. Be sure to add your events to our calendar and get your shows noticed!

CAMILLE A. BROWN'S "INK" AT PEAK PERFORMANCE

By Patricia Kiernan Johnson, JerseyArts.com

originally published: 02/01/2018

CAMILLE A. BROWN'S "INK" AT PEAK PERFORMANCE

From February 1 through 4, Peak Performances at Montclair State University presents Camille A. Brown and her dancers in “ink,” the final installment in Brown’s dance theatre trilogy about identity. The first installment was “Mr. TOL E. RAncE” in 2012 and “BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play” from 2015. The hour-long “ink” is a new work, having received its premiere on December 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Created and choreographed by Camille A. Brown, “ink” is a collaboration with music director Allison Miller, percussionist Wilson Torres, violinist Juliette Jones and composer/pianist Scott Patterson. Using the rhythms and sounds of traditional African and handmade instruments at its center, “ink” takes the audience on a musical, dance and storytelling journey through time with elements of the blues, hip-hop, jazz and swing. The company dancers also took part in the collaboration to make “ink.”

How does that all work? Check out this work-in-progress clip of ink (and make sure you have your sound turned on to hear Brown’s narrative!):



 

“ink” is performed by seven dancers (including Brown herself) and consists of six different sections, mostly performed in solos or duets. Here, Camille A. Brown describes each of the six segments that make up “ink:”

The rev up | Super Power: Heritage. The rev up sets up the ritual and clears the path for these stories to be told. I feel like I am stirring a pot of stew and each go-round I keep pulling out more gestures, more groove, more pain and more work.

Milkshake | Super Power: The Butt. Milkshake celebrates the Black female body. Harkening to the last section of the mother/daughter relationship in “BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play,” Milkshake offers the story of the daughter who is now a woman, and celebrates one of her many assets that has been objectified and appropriated.

ink at Peak Performances photo

Balance | Super Power: Love. Balance represents the shared energy between a man and a woman. Often men and women are put into very specific roles—the man as the protector/provider and the woman as the nurturer. In Balance, these roles are interchangeable. Through their mannerisms and gestures, you see the story of how they meet, court, lift, care, protect and, most importantly, love each other.

Turf | Super Power: The Dab. Turf is about brotherhood, and similar to “BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play”’s journey of sisterhood, tells the story of two Black men from boyhood to manhood. They are claiming their turf in society, home, and life. Through it all, they walk the path together, protecting each other.

Migration | Super Power: Spirituality. Migration is about how our bodies hold energy and how we transfer that energy to someone else. What happens when someone holds the space for you to exhale?

Migration II | Super Power: The Ancestors. Migration II connects the lines between African rituals and African American rituals. Our stories live within “the circle of the bantaba” — The Dancing Ground – and “the dab” — a greeting with the hands that takes on many forms. Through relationships, friendships, and spirituality, we use the powers of the past and present to propel us into the future.

You probably noticed that many of the segment titles include “super power.” No, you’re not likely to see the dancers wearing capes and protecting their secret identities. Rather, Brown was inspired by reading “Question Bridge: Black Males in America” (Brown is REALLY keen on research and investigation as she creates works) where one of the men interviewed said, “I see Black people as comic book heroes because they always keep rising.” And for Brown, that was a lightning moment – that there are superhuman powers to be found in basic survival: “Powers to mutate, to overcome and to transform within an often hostile environment,” she says.

Brown calls her works “dance theatre” and uses them to explore intense issues of culture, race and identity, especially in light of power and control. Outside of her own company, Brown also does a lot of choreographic work for the theatre as well, including the choreography for Broadway’s “Once on this Island,” so she is well immersed in the ways of telling stories and conveying large-scale concepts through dance.

CAMILLE A. BROWN'S "INK" AT PEAK PERFORMANCE

In her works, Brown questions—and wants the audience to think about—what it means for a person of color to be manipulated by another power, how people and communities to claim their own power with ancestral and contemporary vocabulary, and what it means when people are able to claim their own power. Brown’s dance trilogy, of which “ink” is the final installment, continues these questions and highlights the resilience and creative genius of African Americans. In the previous trilogy installments, “Mr. TOL E. RAncE” explored stereotypes of blacks in entertainment, while “BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play” looked at the experience of girlhood, making a dance out of playground games like double Dutch, red light-green light and hand-clapping games.

And Brown doesn’t let these questions rest at the end of her shows. After the conclusion of performances, she and her dancers often participate in community conversations with the audiences. During the Montclair run, that conversation takes place following the Saturday, February 3 performance.

With “ink,” Brown says that she is “working from a place of reclamation—taking back narratives that have been placed on Black people (stereotypes, tropes, etc.) and taking those stories back. Writing and rewriting our stories the way we know them to be—not what is dictated by others. The title, ‘ink,’ speaks to this. Reclaiming African-American narratives by showcasing their authenticity, writing our stories with our bodies.”

CAMILLE A. BROWN'S "INK" AT PEAK PERFORMANCE

The Washington Post, in its review of the December premiere, called ink “highly promising” and “often intriguing,” and said that the work “makes a beautiful study of personal and even secretive gestures and rituals.”

“ink” is centered on love, Camille A. Brown says, and represents it through family, relationships, friendships, spirituality and hope: “It’s about using the power of the past and present to propel us into the future.”

CAMILLE A. BROWN'S "INK" AT PEAK PERFORMANCENot just the venue for these “ink” performances, Peak Performances at Montclair State University is also a co-lead commissioner of the work, along with the Kennedy Center. Peak Performances was created in 2005 and has since brought a wide range of internationally acclaimed artists and productions to the Alexander Kasser Theater. With an emphasis on interdisciplinary work, Peak Performances has presented more than 50 world and American premieres. Peak Performances also presents performances by Montclair State University’s students as part of its efforts to bring together artists of uncommon imagination with audiences of adventuresome spirits to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the creative spirit.

Count me in.

The Details

Peak Performances at Montclair State University presents Camille A. Brown and dancers in “ink” on Thursday, February 1 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 3 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 4 at 3:00 p.m. The performances take place at Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University, located at 1 Normal Avenue in Montclair. Tickets are free for Montclair State undergraduates; $20 for all others. Following the performances on Saturday, February 3, audiences are invited to stay for a free community discussion with the dancers and Ms. Brown. For more information, visit peakperf.org.



PHOTOS BY CHRISTOPHER DUGGAN



About the author: About the author: Patricia, Jersey born and bred, is a lifelong arts lover, arts patron, performer and artist. One of the very few people who actually cheers when The Dreaded Opera Category shows up on Jeopardy, Patricia is also an avid Yankee fan (from birth) and is learning to become an Eagles fan (from marriage).

Content provided by Discover Jersey Arts, a project of the ArtPride New Jersey Foundation and New Jersey State Council on the Arts.






State Theatre Presents Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games on Tuesday, October 9 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $29-$69. Irish step dancing show Lord of the Dance has become an international sensation for more than 20 years. Now, choreographed by Michael Flatley with music composed by Gerard Fahy, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games combines dance and music that fuses the traditional with the contemporary in a classic tale that showcases the exceptional talent of the cast. The show features cutting edge technology including a giant radiant flat screen that spans the width of the stage, special effects lighting, dancing robots, and world champion acrobats.
State Theatre Presents Ballet Hispanico
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents America’s premier Latino dance organization Ballet Hispánico on Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 8:00pm. Through the work of its professional company, school of dance, and community arts education programs, Ballet Hispánico celebrates the dynamic aesthetics of the Hispanic diaspora. This program features three dance pieces all choreographed by women. The program includes Con Brazos Abiertos choreographed by Michelle Manzanales, Sombrerisimo by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, and 3.Catorce Dieciseis by Tania Pérez-Salas. Tickets range from $19-$49.
Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre To Perform New Production On October 13
(EDISON, NJ) -- The Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre, New Jersey’s premier Spanish Dance Company for 23 years of delighting audiences from New Jersey and beyond,  will present its exciting new production: Nueva España, The Mexican Connection on October 13 at 3:00pm at the Middlesex County College’s Performing Arts Center. 
Mayo Presents Enchanted India: The Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Experience a boisterous, colorful and joyful affirmation of Indian culture when Enchanted India: Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan takes the stage at MPAC Thursday, September 27 at 7:00pm. Tickets range from $19-$49.
Liberty Hall Dance Festival To Feature 15 Dance Companies From Throughout NY and NJ
(UNION, NJ) -- Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University has partnered again with Buggé Ballet for a one-of-a-kind event, the Liberty Hall Dance Festival! For the second year in a row, guests will spend an afternoon walking through the beautiful museum grounds, enjoying site-specific professional dance performances inspired by moments in history. Liberty Hall Dance Festival will be held on Saturday, September 29 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.


A New Ballet Company Launches At The Shore
Monmouth County has long been a hub for the arts, with a celebrated music scene, thriving original theatre and artists throughout the area, but one thing was missing – the area did not have its own professional ballet company.
Kennedy Dancers Take On Anderson Park
Trust me when I tell you that the Kennedy Dancers do it all. No joke. The company, which is based in Jersey City and was founded in 1976 by Artistic Director Diane Dragone, is a professional dance company (performing all manner of styles), a pre-professional training company, a dance school and a producer of a television show.
Passion & Discipline: A profile of Corey Landolt, Washington Ballet
Corey Landolt is in his ninth season with The Washington Ballet.  The New Jersey native grew up on the border of Voorhees and West Berlin, and first studied at the Academy of Ballet in Berlin, New Jersey under David Gallagher.  His interest in ballet began when he was about five years old and saw his sister performing in The Nutcracker.
Nurturing The Future of Dance In New Jersey
On Friday, June 15, NJPAC present an evening of world-premiere dance in a program called the Jersey (NEW) Moves! Festival of Dance.
“See the Music!” American Repertory Ballet’s “Generations: Influences from the Modern Age” LIVE! at McCarter Theatre
It’s finally feeling like Spring outside Princeton, NJ’s McCarter Theatre Center this Friday, April 20, 2018 evening where dance lovers are excitedly making their way inside to experience the American Repertory Ballet’s performance of Generations: Influences from the Modern Age, a triple bill of critically acclaimed works by José Limón, Gerald Arpino, and Douglas Martin.










Event calendar
Thursday, Sep 20, 2018


MUSIC

ELI YOUNG BAND WITH CODY BRYAN @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

CELTIC THUNDER X @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm

Lost 80's Live @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm

Citizen Cope @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 8:00pm

ICON 2018: ELIMINATION ROUND 2 @ Hamilton Stage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm

Linda Eder @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Souvenir @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

East Lynne Theater Company presents SILENT SKY @ First Presbyterian Church (Cape May), Cape May - 8:00pm

The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

Auditions for Seussical at CDC Theatre @ CDC Theatre, Cranford - 7:00pm

Playhouse 22's Third-Thursday Play Reading Series @ Playhouse 22, East Brunswick - 7:30pm

West End Festival of the Arts- Opening Reception @ West End Arts Center, Long Branch - 6:00pm

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm

Brick City @ Premiere Stages at Kean University, Union - 8:00pm


FILM

New Jersey Film Festival @ Ruth Adams Building #001, New Brunswick - 6:00pm


KIDS

Crybaby Matinee: The Triplets of Belleville @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

View all events










 






















For more on our awards, click here








New Jersey Stage © 2018 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 | info@newjerseystage.com

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.