Center for the Arts Welcomes Ronald K. Brown/Evidence

Posted: February 24, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

One of today’s foremost choreographers, Ronald K. Brown has created a movement language all his own and uses it in narrative pieces to make striking cultural commentary. Brown’s dances explore aspirations and dreams both realized and deferred. His company, Evidence, makes its Center for the Arts debut on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m.

Using original text and poetry, Brown’s work is a confluence of modern, African, and Cuban dance. For the 2003-04 season, he created a new work set to the music of one of the legends of American music, Nina Simone.

Come Ye, co-commissioned by the Center for the Arts, Dance Place, Washington Performing Arts Society, and the St. Joseph Historical Society, explores some of the content of Simone’s recordings, which, according to Brown, “teach self-determination with a density that is created by her throaty voice and emotional testimonies.” This is a full-company work featuring Simone’s classic rendition of “Come Ye” from her 1967 release High Priestess of Soul. Creating this piece allowed Brown to “reach back and understand where and who I am, focusing on Ms. Simone as an African American storyteller and historian. My curiosity with her work and ‘Come Ye’ is consistent with my interest and dedication to review the messages of artists and activists who have made offerings rooted in spiritual guidance.”

Brown creates new work for his own company and for others like Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, African American Dance Ensemble, Philadanco, Def Dance Jam Workshop, Alvin Ailey II, and many others. Evidence, comprising 10 talented members, captivates audiences around the world with its finely crafted, exquisitely danced stories about heritage, truth, destiny, and mankind’s need and desire to liberate the spirit within.

An artistic discussion, free to ticket holders, is held 45 minutes prior to the curtain on the hall’s Grand Tier. Tickets are $40, $32, and $20. For this performance, faculty and staff can purchase tickets at the box office at half price with a George Mason ID. Or, charge tickets by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit

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