Alumni Camille A. Brown and Juel D. Lane to offer insight, inspiration at artpreneur event
Two of today’s most innovative and exciting choreographers will return to UNCSA for a captivating conversation, “Beyond Definition: An Evening with Camille A. Brown and Juel D. Lane, UNCSA Artpreneurs of the Year.” The public event is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 in Watson Hall on the UNCSA campus, 1533 South Main St. in Winston-Salem. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for UNCSA alumni and non-UNCSA students and are available online or by calling the box office at 336-721-1945.
UNCSA defines artpreneur as “an artist who is not defined by what is, but inspired by all that could be; who is business savvy and technologically aware; who is devoted to creating value and impact through their creative practice; who reaches beyond existing disciplines to create new ways to connect with others; who is willing to take creative risks in order to positively transform our world.”
Camille and Juel are exhilarating to watch as dancers and choreographers, and they are equally engaging in conversation. Together we will hear how their careers illustrate our definition of artpreneur.
The Artpreneur of the Year Awards of $20,000 each were announced in April. Brown’s award, for creative enterprise, will sustain her New York-based company, Camille A. Brown and Dancers. Lane’s award, for a creative project, will be used to create new choreographic work. The awards were launched in 2018 to support alumni who establish creative projects or creative enterprises of the highest merit, artistic excellence or innovative potential. The Artpreneur of the Year Awards are supported by a grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.
Fellow alumna Corey Madden, executive director of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at UNCSA, will conduct the Oct. 26 interview-style conversation with Brown and Lane. The event will include time for questions from the audience.
“Camille and Juel are exhilarating to watch as dancers and choreographers, and they are equally engaging in conversation,” Madden said. “Together we will hear how their careers illustrate our definition of artpreneur. What inspires them to create groundbreaking works? How do they use technology to achieve their vision? What risks have they taken and what is their creative process? As an artist, I am keenly interested in hearing what they will share.”
Brown returns to UNCSA fresh from choreographing the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess,” which opened Sept. 23. A five-time Princess Grace Award winner, she is also is the recipient of a Bessie Award, Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, Doris Duke Award and a TED fellowship. She was nominated for a Tony Award this year for outstanding choreography in “Choir Boy.” Currently, Brown is performing and touring her new work “ink” – called “rousing and incisive” by The New York Times. She returned to UNCSA as a guest artist in 2015.
This season Lane spent two weeks as a guest artist at the University of Indiana and performed with Camille A. Brown and Dancers at the University of Richmond. In October, he will premiere a new work for Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s fall dance concert. Previously he was selected for the prestigious Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab and he received two Celebration of Dance Awards in his native city of Atlanta, for Choreographer of the Year and Best Choreography for Live Performance for “Touch & Agree.” In September 2018, he premiered “DM” at UNCSA’s Fall Dance concert.
More about Camille A. Brown
Camille A. Brown has choreographed for dance companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Complexions and Urban Bush Women, and for theater productions including “Once on This Island,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “tick, tick…BOOM!” In April 2018, she was the choreographer for the Emmy Award-winning “Jesus Christ Superstar, Live in Concert” on NBC. In 2016, Brown’s TED-Ed talk, A Visual History of Social Dance in 25 Moves, was chosen as one of the most notable talks of the year by TED Curator Chris Anderson.
In 2006, Brown founded Camille A. Brown and Dancers (CABD), a Bessie Award-winning, NYC-based dance company that performs in NYC and across the world, inviting audiences into stories and dialogues about race, culture and identity. With her company, Brown strives to instill curiosity and reflection in diverse audiences through her emotionally raw and thought-provoking work. Her driving passion is to empower Black bodies to tell their story using their own language(s) through movement and dialogue. Through the company, she provides outreach activities to students, young adults, and incarcerated women and men across the country.
CABD is known for an introspective approach to cultural themes through visceral movement and socio-political dialogues. Brown leads her dancers through excavations of ancestral stories, encouraging each dancer to embrace their unique embodiment of the artistic vision and gestural vocabulary. The work uses theatricality and the aesthetics of modern, hip hop, African, ballet and tap to tell stories that connect history with contemporary culture.
Brown’s newest work “ink” is the final installation of the company’s trilogy about culture, race and identity. “ink” follows the Bessie Award-winning “Mr. TOL E. RAncE” (2012) and Bessie-nominated “BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play” (2015). Drawing on historic and contemporary rhythms, rituals and gestural vocabulary of the African Diaspora, "ink" reclaims African-American narratives by showcasing their authenticity. The work examines the culture of Black life that is often appropriated, rewritten, or silenced.
More about Juel D. Lane
Juel D. Lane is a dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, and one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." Most recently he won Celebration of Dance: Choreographer of the Year and Best Choreography for Live Performance for Ailey II's "Touch & Agree." He has performed nationally and internationally with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, and currently dances with Bessie Award-winning Camille A. Brown & Dancers.
In 2012, Lane became the first Black, independent, Atlanta-based choreographer ever to be commissioned by the Atlanta Ballet, choreographing "Moments of Dis" for the company. He was selected to participate in the 2015-16 Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab. Lane has also released four dance on film projects: "Just Another Day," "How to Kill a Ghost," "When The Beat Drops," and "The Maestro" which was featured on AfroPunk.com. He recently choreographed on Ailey II and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Lane was last seen as a dancer in the Emmy Award-winning TV special, "Jesus Christ Superstar," Live in Concert; on NBC.
In the fall of 2018, Lane choreographed an original work for the School of Dance’s Fall Dance program. "DM" for two male dancers and 16 female dancers, was set to original music by composer Munir Zakee.