Camille A. Brown


Doris Duke Artist Award, 2015
Dance

New York, NY

Camille A. Brown founded Camille A. Brown & Dancers in 2006. Her theatrically based work explores social and historical themes. Using movement as a form of excavation, her dancers bring timeless stories to life to connect with contemporary culture. Her Bessie Award winning, Mr. TOL E. RAncE (2013), celebrates African-American humor while illuminating themes of race in society today. Black Girl: Linguistic Play (2015), examines the complexities of a black female identity. This work birthed her initiative, BLACK GIRL SPECTRUM, which provides black females the safety to live as creative citizens. Theatre credits include: The Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theater, 2014), tick, tick...BOOM! (City Center Encores!, 2014), and A Streetcar Named Desire (Broadway, 2012). Awards include: Jacob’s Pillow Award (2016), Princess Grace Statue Award (2016), Guggenheim Fellowship (2016), USA Jay Franke & David Herro Fellowship (2015), TED Fellow (2015), NEFA National Dance Project grants, and Jerome Foundation 50th Anniversary Grant (2014). She is currently developing ink, which explores the link between the heart of the Hip Hop cultural phenomenon and current political responses to socioeconomic injustice.

  • Photo by Ra-Re Valverde
    Camille A. Brown
  • Camille A. Brown- "Double This JUBA That" from BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play (2015) : http://vimeo.com/151688706
    "Double This JUBA That" from BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play (2015)
  • Camille A. Brown- Mr. TOL E. RAncE (2013) : /122051360
    Mr. TOL E. RAncE (2013)
  • Photo Credit: Christopher Duggan
    BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play (2015)
  • Photo Credit: Christopher Duggan
    BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play (2015)
  • Photo Credit: Christopher Duggan
    BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play (2015)
  • Photo Credit: Christopher Duggan
    BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play (2015)
  • Photo by Christopher Duggan
    Mr. TOL E. RAncE

What are the creative challenges you face as an artist?

I am constantly challenging myself to show my evolution as a choreographer and person in my work. It's very easy to rest on your strengths - it's a safe space, but feeling uncomfortable and incredibly unsafe, that's a scary place to put yourself in. However, I know that I am stronger for those experiences. I challenge myself to try new things, but also remember to not lose "Camille" in the process. For instance, if I'm creating a work based on a topic another choreographer has tackled in the past, such as Donald Byrd tackling minstrelsy in The Minstrel Show (1991) and I tackle it my work, Mr. TOL E. RAncE (2013), I ask, "How can I add to the conversation vs. retelling the same story?” The number of questions I ask myself while creating has been, and still is, part of my evolution. The ability to understand what I have learned as an artist since my last work has made my growth more evident both choreographically and personally.