Choreographer, jazz pianist celebrate community and the human experience with 'The Subtle One'
A fusion of African dance and contemporary choreography meets the musical energy of a live jazz trio performance when Ronald K. Brown’s Evidence, A Dance Company is joined onstage with Jason Moran and the Bandwagon at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23.
The performance is presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech and will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall.
Celebrated choreographer Brown and acclaimed pianist Moran bring together their respective ensembles in “The Subtle One.” Set to a musical suite of the same name, the work reflects on the presence of ancestors in the world and the profound impact this has on people’s lives. “The Subtle One” is paired with selections from Brown’s dance piece “One Shot.”
Set to music by Ahmad Jamal and Lena Horne, “One Shot” was inspired by the life and work of photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, who documented black life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 1936 to 1975. Harris created one of the most detailed and intimate records of the black urban experience known today, including the spirit of childhood, indulgences of decadence, and the soul of jazz. “One Shot” uses the idea of looking to the legacy of community and its echoing effect on other communities in their distinct definition and evolution.
Opening the evening is Brown's iconic “Grace,” which weaves the story of a goddess’ journey to earth to spread grace among humans, ultimately welcoming them to heaven. “Grace” is set to recordings by Duke Ellington, Roy Davis, and Fela Kuti.
The Center for the Arts is hosting several engagement activities, offering ways to create deeper connections with the artists and their work. Brown, the dance company’s founder and artistic director, will lead a workshop on art and spirituality at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22. Utilizing tenets from his signature text and movement workshop, Brown will highlight the role spirituality plays in his own work and show participants how they can express spiritual influence on their own journey, through a safe exploration of storytelling movement expression. Held in the Moss Arts Center Cube, the event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Call the Moss Arts Center’s box office at 540-231-5300 or register online.
Virginia Tech theatre and cinema students and faculty will participate in a “Meet the Makers” event with Arcell Cabuag, associate artistic director, company manager, and dancer with Evidence. Cabuag will lead an intimate conversation with the group about the ensemble’s work and touring.
Jazz pianist Jason Moran will meet with students in the Virginia Tech Jazz Ensemble during a special event hosted by Jason Crafton, assistant professor of trumpet and jazz studies in Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts.
The center will also host a Tweet Seats Master Class during a rehearsal with select students from Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts. Designed to provide students and instructors a new way to make connections and discoveries through the arts while introducing a new dimension to the class experience, this Twitter-based educational discussion will be led by Tracy Cowden, an associate professor of piano and vocal coach in the School of Performing Arts.
Founded by Brown in 1985 and based in Brooklyn, New York, Evidence, A Dance Company focuses on the fusion of African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word. This work provides a unique view of human struggles, tragedies, and triumphs. Brown uses movement as a way to reinforce the importance of community in African American culture and to acquaint audiences with the beauty of African forms and rhythms.
A jazz pianist and composer, Moran’s varied body of work is helping to shape the current and future landscape of jazz music. He is deeply invested in reassessing and complicating the relationship between music and language. Much of his music stems from work with his long-running trio, the Bandwagon. Moran was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010 and is the artistic director for jazz at The Kennedy Center.
This performance was made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tickets are $25-55 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300 during box office hours.
Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.
If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email email@example.com during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.
The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech presents renowned artists from around the globe and from close to home, with a special focus on experiences that expand cultural awareness and deepen understanding. The Center for the Arts and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, with which the Center for the Arts is uniquely partnered, are housed in the Moss Arts Center. The Moss Arts Center is a 147,000-square-foot facility that includes the Street and Davis Performance Hall and its 1,274-seat Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre; visual art galleries; the four-story, experimental venue the Cube; and research studios.