Kyle Abraham, a 2012 MANCC fellow, was recently one of 24 people to be awarded the 2013 MacArthur Fellowship. According to their website, the MacArthur Fellows Program “awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” (More information on the MacArthur Fellows Program can be found at http://www.macfound.org/programs/fellows/strategy/)
This highly coveted award comes to Abraham a little over a year and a half after his 2012 residency at Florida State’s Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC). While in residence, Abraham began developing Pavement which he performed as a part of the 2012 Seven Days of Opening Nights. The work draws its inspiration from John Singelton’s 1991 film of the same name and W.E.B Dubois classic essay, The Souls of Black Folk, and is set to a sound score that mixes Philippe Jaroussky’s operatic score, Carestini: The Story of a Castrato with the sounds of an urban city.
Upon receiving the award, Abraham was overcome with emotion saying,
“It was a shock. I was laughing about it; I was crying about it, it was so overwhelming. I’ve been trying to figure out how to pay off my student loans to this day.” (Quote courtesy of nytimes.com)
That should not be a problem now considering the MacArthur fellowship comes with a stipend of $625,000, paid over the course of five years; a vast difference from living off of food stamps just three years ago.
Kyle Abraham is a choreographer and dancer probing the relationship between identity and personal history through a unique hybrid of traditional and vernacular dance styles that speaks to a new generation of dancers and audiences. In works for his own company, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.in.Motion, and others, startling shifts in gestures and music create a rich dialogue between internal emotional landscapes and shared cultural experiences.
Kyle Abraham received a B.F.A. (2000) from the State University of New York at Purchase and an M.F.A. (2006) from New York University. His choreographic works have been performed by both his company, Kyle Abraham/Abraham.in.Motion (founded in 2006), and others at such venues as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Joyce Theatre, Harlem Stage, Danspace Project, On the Boards, the Kelly-Strahorn Theater (Pittsburgh), and REDCAT (Los Angeles), among many others.
– See more at: http://www.macfound.org/fellows/882/#sthash.Wg8qsrKX.dpuf