About Bernard Brown
BERNARD BROWN is a California based dance artist, choreographer and educator. His work is rooted in catalyzing change through dance; dance sparks dialogue which in turn, inspires action, the action being the change within our communities. He is interested in excavating the ways in which art can transform, create ripples of empathy, and foster healing. He received his MFA from the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance at UCLA and his BFA from Purchase College. Bernard began his dance training at the Lula Washington Dance Theatre School and continued on to the illustrious Idyllwild Arts Academy.
Mr. Brown's choreography has been presented at Royce Hall, REDCAT, ODC Theater, Dance Mission Theater, Highways Performance Space, University of Chicago, the Fowler Museum, HomeLA, Phoenix Center of the Arts, University of Chicago, Southern Methodist University, Japanese American National Museum, El Camino College, Lula Washington Dance Theater, California State University Long Beach, Crocker Art Museum, Brooklyn Baptist Church, Bryant Lake Bowl and Patrick's Cabaret. He had the honor of choreographing Scott Joplin's opera, "Treemonisha" for Skylark Opera. His work “Champion” was presented at the launch of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin in 2016. He has created original dance works for University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Sacramento State University, El Camino College, Lula Washington Dance Theatre School, Pasadena Dance Theatre School, and South Chicago Dance Theatre. Brown was invited by Jazz great, Kenny Burrell, to choreograph to his score, "Homage to Mother Earth" for Burrell's 85th birthday celebration hosted by UCLA's Royce Hall. His work has been supported by the Department of Cultural Affairs for City of Los Angeles. In recognition of his choreographic body of work, Bernard received the Westfield Emerging Artist Award. He was awarded the Lester Horton Award for his work as a choreographer and performer.
Bernard, rehearsal director and assistant to Lula Washington, completed his 20th season with Lula Washington Dance Theatre in 2017. Mr. Brown has performed with TU Dance, Shapiro and Smith Dance, Doug Elkins Dance Company, bopi's black sheep/dances by kraig patterson, Jazz Antiqua Music and Dance Ensemble, Shaluza Gumboot Ensemble and Louis Johnson Dance Theater Ensemble. He has been seen on the Daytime Emmy’s, in Penumbra Theater’s “Black Nativity,” Donald Byrd’s “Harlem Nutcracker,” Tim Allen's film “Crazy on the Outside,” “Loving the Silent Tears” directed by Vincent Patterson and choreographed by Bonnie Story, “ANYTOWN,” a dance-musical, and was invited perform with Mikhail Baryshnikov in Robert Wilson's "Letter to a Man" with choreography by Lucinda Childs at Royce Hall. Mr. Brown was principal dancer in Nike’s “12 Miles North: The Nick Gabaldon Story.” Bernard also has had the immense pleasure of working with and dancing the work of Donald McKayle, Vincent Patterson, Rennie Harris, David Rousseve, George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, Agnes de Mille, Lea Anderson, Rudy Perez, Lula Washington, Tamica Washington-Miller, Ann Carlson and Christopher Huggins. He has restaged McKayle’s “Games” (namely for the Kennedy Center's Masters of African American Choreography ), “Songs of the Disinherited,” and “Rainbow Etude.”
Bernard has been lecturer at UCLA in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. He has taught dance at summer intensives at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA. As representative of various dance companies, Bernard has taught residencies and master classes internationally ( Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Maslool Tel Aviv and others), across the US (University of Missouri St. Louis, CSU Monterey Bay, the International Association of Blacks in Dance conference and others), and at a multitude of schools throughout Los Angeles Unified School District. He has been on faculty at the Zenon Dance School (Minneapolis), Pasadena Dance Theatre and Lula Washington Dance Theatre School. Brown is a candidate for Certification in the Katherine Dunham Technique. He is Assistant Professor of Dance at Sacramento State University.
As a budding dance scholar and activist, Mr. Brown was published in the inaugural edition of Dancer-Citizen, and recently in The Activist's History Review. His scholarship on queerness, blackness and arts activism has been presented at Dance Studies Association and International Association of Blacks in Dance conferences. His activism has been documented by the Los Angeles and New York Times.
The LA Times has called him "...the incomparable Bernard Brown..."
Bernard Brown/bbmoves, founded in 2014, began as a call to action. Inspired by arts and social justice movements of the past and present, Bernard Brown/bbmoves aims to serve as a conduit for the oppressed to express their voices. Artistic Director, Bernard Brown, has been featured in the New York and Los Angeles Times for his Dance Activism. The company also seeks to preserve the legacy of historic dance works. Bernard Brown/bbmoves has been presented at Royce Hall, REDCAT, Aratani Theatre, Highways Performance Space, Fowler Museum, ODC Theater, Los Angeles Dance Festival (Diavolo Dance Space), HomeLA, Japanese American National Museum, Miles Memorial Playhouse, and the Crocker Art Museum. The company's work has been supported by the City of Los Angeles' Department of Cultural Affairs, Sacramento State University, and Dance/USA. The company has collaborated with Steven T. Gordon, emerging Los Angeles artist DeFacto X, and with jazz great, Kenny Burrell.
Inspired by arts and social justice movements of the past and present, Bernard Brown/bbmoves aims to serve as a conduit for the oppressed to express their voices. Melding African Diasporic movement and postmodern sensibilities, our mission is to create and present dance theater performance and educational engagement that welcomes and challenges our audiences (and collaborators) to collectively celebrate the diverse, intersectional richness across the African Diaspora, interrogate systems that seek to marginalize communities, and conspire for a clearer understanding of our shared humanity.
Organizational Programs and Services
Bernard Brown/bbmoves aspires to be a beacon for synthesization of dance creation, performance and education that centers the stories from the African Diaspora, not exclusive to those of Black Americans. This is accomplished in a multitude of avenues including: Artistic collaboration through research, analysis and clarification; Employing dance artivism (art + activism) as the vehicle to shift cultural and socio-political imbalances; Nurturing artivists from neophyte to professional by providing access to dance education and mentorship; Building community through strategic partnerships; Inspiring audiences to strengthen community through artivism.