April dance calendar 2013

CHARMAINE PATRICIA WARREN Special to AmNews | 3/28/2013, 5:53 p.m.

Headlining this month's dance calendar are Camille A. Brown & Dancers downtown at the Kitchen and the annual dance festival E-Moves, now in its 14th year uptown in Harlem.

For their New York season, on April 2-6, Camille A. Brown & Dancers brings the New York premiere of her first evening-length work, "Mr. TOL E. RancE," a piece inspired by Spike Lee's film "Bamboozled" and Mel Watkins' book "On the Real Side: From Slavery to Chris Rock." According to Brown, this ensemble work "employs live original music, animation, comedy, theater and poignantly retrospective dance vocabulary ... [while it] celebrates African-American humor, addresses pervasive Black stereotypes in pop culture and speaks to the issue and addresses forms of modern day 'minstrelsy.' The piece blends and contrasts the historic with the contemporary, traveling a psychic arc from Bert Williams to Dave Chappelle."

Brown continued: "These sources were used more as a vehicle to explore the idea of drawing parallels between historic and current images of Blacks on television ... I found this story so complex and delicate. We are embarrassed by stereotypes but embrace them as well. They come from the fabric of who we all are, and entertainment was birthed out of them. Now that we have choices (or do we?), I want to ask the questions: Why are we laughing? Is it OK that we do?"

"Mr. TOL E. RancE" will be performed by Juel D. Lane, Mayte Natalio, Waldean Nelson, Mora-Amina Parker, Willie "Tre" Smith III and Keon Thoulouis, and original music will be played live by Scott Patterson. Each performance will be followed by a discussion led by various moderators: on April 2, author Michael Eric Dyson; April 3, filmmaker Stacey Muhammad; April 4, consultant and producer Baraka Sele; April 5, scholar Dr. James Peterson; and on April 6, director Kamilah Forbes. For more information, visit www.thekitchen.org.

To help celebrate 30 years of Harlem Stage, the acclaimed dance series E-Moves 14 (April 12-20) returns with the program "Leaping Forward with Radical New Works." For this year's program, nine alumni with contrasting styles are paired in three collaborative groups and are given the task of creating an original 30-minute work. The three collaborative groups are: Nia Love, Germaul Barnes and Maurice Chestnut; Nathan Trice, Marguerite Hemmings and Hattie Mae Williams; and Adia Whitaker, Satoshi Haga and Nelida Tirado. On the last day, during the "Harlem Stage Takeover" (April 20), nine emerging artists who were selected by each alumnus will take over the Harlem Stage Gatehouse with site-specific creations. The evening will close with a DJ dance party. For more information, visit www.harlemstage.org.


March 26-April 7: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in two programs titled "Play and Play: An Evening of Movement and Music." Joining the company on both programs will be the Orion String Quartet. Program A includes the repertory works "D-Man in the Waters" (1989, revised 1998), "Continuous Replay" (1977, revised 1991) and "Spent Days Out Yonder (2000)." On Program B is the New York premiere of "Ravel: Landscape or Portrait (2012)," and the world premiere of "Story." For more information, visit www.joyce.org.