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About Bernard Brown

​ Bernard Brown (he/they) Artistic Director of Bernard Brown/bbmoves, is a Los Angeles-based performing artist, choreographer, filmmaker, activist, and educator who situates his work at the intersection of Blackness, belonging, and memory. In addition to presenting their scholarship on Blackness, queerness, activism, inclusive pedagogy, and modern dance nationally, Bernard’s choreography is presented widely, including Seoul International Dance Festival in TANK, Royce Hall, REDCAT, ODC Theater, Dance Mission Theater, University of Chicago, Highways Performance Space, Phoenix Center of the Arts, Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Queering Dance Festival, Crocker Art Museum, Japanese American National Museum, and Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. He has choreographed Scott Joplin's opera, "Treemonisha" for Skylark Opera. His creative work has been supported by the US State Department, California Humanities, the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Dance/USA, Sotheby's, and California Arts Council. As a performer, Bernard has worked with Lula Washington Dance Theatre (with a twenty-year tenure as lead performer, rehearsal director, and assistant to the artistic director), David Rousseve/REALITY, Doug Elkins Dance Company, Shapiro and Smith Dance, Louis Johnson Dance Theatre Ensemble, and JazzAntiqua Dance and Music Ensemble. His work as a filmmaker continues to garner acclaim and make a global impact. “The Weight of Sugar” has been screened extensively in Europe, Asia and North America to great acclaim. Bernard was invited by Jazz great, Kenny Burrell, to choreograph his score, "Homage to Mother Earth" for Burrell's 85th birthday celebration hosted by Royce Hall. Some other career highlights include restaging Donald McKayle’s canonical “Games'' for the Kennedy Center's Masters of African American Choreography, performing on the Daytime Emmy’s, in Penumbra Theater’s “Black Nativity,” Donald Byrd’s “Harlem Nutcracker,” an invitation to perform with Mikhail Baryshnikov in Robert Wilson’s “Letter to a Man,” with choreography by Lucinda Childs, and being the titular principal dancer in Nike’s “12 Miles North: The Nick Gabaldon Story,” the first documented Afro-Mexican American surfer.

A choreographic thinker, his work as a creative being merges physical practice, research, and theory while centering and uplifting his community.


Bernard has been featured in Dance Magazine, the New York Times, and Los Angeles Times for his dance activism. He continues to work closely with Dr. Shamell Bell as a core member of Street Dance Activism and is a collaborator with the abolitionist project, Dances Through Prison Walls, directed by Suchi Branfman. Bernard is published in the peer-reviewed dance journal, Dancer-Citizen, and in The Activist History Review. Bernard conceived of and curates Rooted Rhythmic Futures, a dance series and festival that brings Blackness, Indigeneity, and Queerness squarely to the center of our consciousness.


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.


A recent Artist-In-Residence at B Street Theatre, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Texas State University and Johns Hopkins University, Bernard has also conducted residencies, workshops, and master classes internationally, namely in Israel, Burkina Faso, and Brazil, and across the US including Social Justice and Education Conference, American College Dance Association, the International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference and a myriad of schools and universities, including Audubon Middle School in Los Angeles where he and collaborators David Mack and Jessica Evans implemented an Africanist Dance curriculum.


Earning his MFA from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance and BFA from Purchase College, recent faculty appointments include Sacramento State University, New York University (Tisch School of the Arts), and the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance Department in addition to the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA. A first generation college graduate, Bernard is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Loyola Marymount University and a Certified Katherine Dunham Instructor Candidate. 


The LA Times has called him “...the incomparable Bernard Brown...”

About bbmoves

Bernard Brown/bbmoves, founded in 2015, 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 Dance Magazine, the New York Times 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, 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.

Mission Statement


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 Orientation + Processes

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.

Bernard Brown/bbmoves was explicitly founded to advocate and enact equitable support for Black communities, cultural organizations, artists, and our community as a liberatory practice. Understanding that sustained colonized public policies and institutional practices, both conscious and unconscious, have resulted in unequal access to resources for African-American communities and artists, our organization actively works to be a beacon of inclusion and access. The systemic unequal access to opportunity has resulted in generations of unjust and inequitable outcomes for Black communities throughout the United States and across US continental borders. With that, our leadership, creative team and participants in our programs clearly demonstrate cultural ethnic, and racial diversity. 

Bernard Brown/bbmoves opens the collaborative artistic process to core community audiences by inviting together neighbors, activists, scholars, and allies in conversation sessions exploring project themes and social justice issues. Similar to the intentional approach Brown brings to his work with collaborating performers, these dialogues are part of a community building process that utilizes care, storytelling, and critical reflection to complicate the artistic process from early in the conceptualization of projects, creating opportunities for shared authorship and multilayered perspectives. These conversations foster work with and within an intimate community context. Through advisement of the participating conversational cohort, documentation of these dialogues may feed into performance narrative elements or post-performance resources for audiences. These engaged processes are also supplemented by auxiliary programming including panel discussions, pre- or post-show conversations, and workshops.

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