The Transformative Power of Dance...
Un/Broken (in process)
American choreographer, Bernard Brown, is creating a new work for dancers in Burkina Faso and the United States. As an African American, Brown has questions about his own ancestral heritage. Leading the question, "What would an unbroken lineage look like?," this new work hopes to help clarify his concerns around family never met, kinship, lineage and community.
Anticipated Premiere: December 2023
Length: 30 minutes
Recorded and Live Music
With support from Centre de Développement Chorégraphique La Termitière (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso) and Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, CA, US)
This short narrative film seeks to illuminate the great legacy of Bridget “Biddy” Mason. After traveling by foot behind the slaveholder’s wagon caravan from Mississippi to Salt Lake City to San Bernardino, Mason petitioned for her freedom from slavery, which was approved by Los Angeles district judge in 1856. She went on to become one of Los Angeles’ most prominent philanthropists and landowners. Centering the audacious narrative of Biddy Mason, this new dance theater work will enliven her-story, the history of Los Angeles and interrogate the invisibilization of Black contribution to the construction of our nation’s major cities. Incorporating historical accounts, spoken word and new music, Mason will be danced by 3 Black women with a lush and energetic movement language infused with historic social, jazz and contemporary dance forms. Filmed on location in the historic Leimert Park
Premiere: October 2022
Co-director & Editor: Jingqiu Guan
Spoken Word Artist: Bryonn Bain
Composer: DeFacto X
Choreographer & Co-director: Bernard Brown
Made with support from The Music Center of Los Angeles, Dance Resource Center and the Department of Cultural Affairs for the City of Los Angeles.
View process video below:
Healing Wisdom Radio Show: Dance Activism, Colonialism and the Dunham Technique with Professor Bernard Brown
This podcast and radio features Loyola Marymount University Dance professor, choreographer, Artistic Director of Bernard Brown/bbmoves, Bernard J. Brown and discusses the transformative power of dance, his mind-body-spirit approach to Dance and Activism, the Dunham Technique and Katherine Dunham's ethnochoreology studies of the culture of the Caribbean and the African Diaspora. Dunham's theory of Socialization Through the Arts, dancing for union revolts, the dances of Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, and Trinidad are discussed along with Bernard Brown's projects include the 2021 film short, "The Weight of Sugar," and his choreographies, "Box" and "Processing Sugar Notes," as entry points and examples of dance as activism.
Listen to the episode here!
On the Verge: Soil, Stars and Song
Hailed as an "absolutely stunning performance" by LATimes Arts reporter Steven Vargas, "On the Verge: Soil, Stars and Song" is a vocal + movement meditation and installation contemplating what the world lost in the 40+ years of HIV/AIDS and the parallels of neglect that are intersectionally present in racism, homophobia and the climate catastrophe.
Conceived as a physical and emotional journey, Bernard Brown, joined by mentee/student Kelvin Bank, uses movement and voice to inhabit the exhibition "On the Verge" at Loyola Marymount University’s Laband Art Gallery The gallery offers an unprecedented survey exhibition of painting, photography, sculpture, video installation and augmented reality by artist Luciana Abait, whose striking works shine a light on the issues of environmental fragility and climate change. “Luciana Abait: On the Verge” includes more than 20 pieces conjuring imaginary worlds that portend global climate catastrophe and show signs of humankind’s intrusion on nature.
Premiere: December 1, 2022
Conceiver, Choreographer: Bernard Brown
Performers: Kelvin Bank, Bernard Brown
Composers: DeFacto X, Arvo Part
Made in collaboration with and support from Laband Art Gallery, LMU Dance and Luciana Abait.
When Whiteness Creeps
This photo series is a deeply personal interrogation Bernard Brown has been on, exploring the profound creep of whiteness and its affects on the Black body and the Black psyche. This series is made in collaboration with acclaimed photographer, Eric Politzer.
Prix de la Photgraphie Paris (P3), shortlist - Paris, France (2021)
Production Paradise, Portraiture & Celebrity category, shortlist (2021)
One Eyeland, international photography competition, Finalist (2021)