After over two years of planning, MANCC and the School of Dance have entered into an extended residency partnership with Legacy choreographer, Ronald K. Brown, and his company Evidence. Brown will engage School of Dance students through a range of events and activities over an eight-month period.
The School of Dance kicked off the partnership in their weekly Forum on March 24th by hosting Mr. Brown in conversation, facilitated by MANCC’s Director Carla Peterson. In May, Brown will teach an excerpt from his work Four Corners to School to School of Dance students through a virtual platform, which will be performed next fall in the School’s annual Evening of Dance production.
Brown’s first residency with the School of Dance was in 2002. This is the second work Mr. Brown has restaged on FSU Dance majors since his original residency in 2002. Brown will continue his residence in the fall, through the support of MANCC, from August 26 – September 2, with 12 collaborators to further develop his latest work, The Equality of Night and Day (TEND). This MANCC residency will further amplify the experience for SOD students, as they will have opportunities to engage with Brown and his work. In November, Mr. Brown returns to rehearse students in Four Corners prior to a public performance with the “Evening of Dance” performance series hosted by the School of Dance.
Celebrated for his pioneering artistry that portrays the struggles, tragedies, and triumphs of the African American community through dance for 35 years, Brown’s TEND will build on his latest work Mercy (2019). It will complete an evening-length performance trilogy that also includes Grace (1999), which was first commissioned for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Since its founding in the School of Dance in 2004, MANCC has provided critical opportunities for students to engage with resident artists. For example, in 2019, Charles O. Anderson came into residence to further (Re)Current Unrest. School of Dance students had the opportunity to participate in the rehearsal process and perform in a work-in-progress showing, serving in the role of community docents for the piece. Similarly, Edisa Weeks interacted with students during her February 2020 residency through her Roots Party, as well as a work in progress showing and conversation that took place with multiple SOD classes.
Additionally, during the pandemic, MANCC has coordinated its current season’s artists to engage virtually with classes. Joanna Kotze came to MANCC in December for a solo residency and, in January, participated in a discussion with collaborators Ryan Seaton (Composer) and Chris Cameron (Video Artist and MANCC’s Media Specialist) around her residency with Professor Donna Uchizono’s advanced contemporary technique class. Similarly, Netta Yerushalmy Zoomed into Dr. Hannah Schwadron’s graduate research seminar following her January residency, and Kota Yamazaki and Mina Nishimura participated in a discussion with Professor Gwen Welliver’s Senior Capstone class, combined with Uchizono’s Graduate Choreographic Projects class in March. Finally, year-long residency artist Darrell Jones (MFA ‘95) led a movement workshop and discussion with Professor Tiffany Rhynard’s Body and Social Justice course, also in March. These engagements, even during these challenging times, underscore the value of MANCC artists as they are embedded within the broad SOD curriculum.