By Amanda Waltz
5 March 2019
There are no tutus, leotards, or ballet buns in the Camille A. Brown & Dancers (CABD) production of ink. Instead, dancers wear untucked, button-down shirts, cargo shorts, tank tops, and yoga pants, all meant to designate their roles as everyday people on the street. By staying grounded in reality, the new dance theater show at the August Wilson Cultural Center (March 9-10) explores how small interactions and relationships contribute to Black empowerment.
“[Brown] wanted people to feel like they could see themselves on stage,” says ink dancer Juel D. Lane. “She wanted us to see our brilliance for who we are as a people, as a community. So the choice to have costumes that are very pedestrian sheds light on ‘this is who we are and where we’ve been.’”
Lane has worked with Brown — a prolific choreographer, dancer, director, and educator — since they met in the early 2000s as students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. That includes dancing with CABD in the previous two installments leading up to ink, the final in a trilogy he describes as dealing with Black identity.
The first show, the award-winning Mr. TOL E. RAncE, uses dance, as well as comedy, animation, and theater, to explore the history of Black performers and addresses forms of “modern-day minstrelsy.” Lane says the following BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play tackles the stereotype of “the angry Black female” to provide a more nuanced, celebratory portrait of Black womanhood.
Read the full article in the Pittsburgh City Paper.