Camille A. Brown & Dancers 'Mr. Tol E. RAncE'
It took Camille A. Brown two years of research to create 'Mr. Tol E. RAncE,' a dynamic work that looks critically and candidly at the enduring legacy of white supremacy in American pop culture. Brown uses dance, theater, comedy, video, and animation to explore black entertainers' tenacity in the face of reductive stereotypes, and the larger theme of humor as a survival tactic in a white supremacist world. Intertwining the exaggerated movements of minstrelsy along with African dance, Lindy hop, ballet, tap, and hip-hop, Brown and six other dancers create lucid portraits that express both hardship and showmanship. Pianist Scott Patterson plays a stirring score in real time. The result, which won a Bessie Award in 2014, is a fearless, unflinching examination of the endless hurdles black artists have long encountered, a poignant mix of the pain of oppression and the joy of inventiveness.
Duke Performances Artist-in-Residence Camille A. Brown has created an essential trilogy of works that redefine black identity within the evolving cultural landscape of this country: 'Mr. TOL E. RAncE,' 'BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play,' and 'ink.' Her series of three one-week residencies at Duke Performances, with her company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, marks the first time a single presenter has staged this trilogy in its entirety.
'Mr. Tol E. RAncE' will be performed March 1 and 2 at 8 p.m.