article by Joshua Barone via nytimes.com
Camille A. Brown, the socially conscious dancer and choreographer, is this year’s winner of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, an honor that comes with a $25,000 cash prize and an engagement at the summer festival.
She was chosen by the incoming Jacob’s Pillow Director Pamela Tatge, who takes over on April 18. In an interview, she called Ms. Brown “hugely important,” and lauded her offstage work advocating for black female artists. “Someone who generates dialogue in communities is the kind of artist that really excites me,” Ms. Tatge said. She added that Ms. Brown is a “deep researcher” who tackles social issues through “extremely present, theatrical” choreography.
As part of the award, Ms. Brown will have a creative development residency at Jacob’s Pillow, where she will spend one or two weeks shaping her new work, “ink.” In addition, her dance “Black Girl: Linguistic Play,” which received favorable reviews when it appeared at the Joyce Theater in September, will be staged at Jacob’s Pillow in 2017. “When I started creating this work, I wanted there to be a duality, a culturally specific work with universal themes,” Ms. Brown said in a statement, referring to “Black Girl.” “This work speaks to the human condition, and because of that, I hope people are able to see themselves in the work, regardless of race or gender.”
Ms. Brown, who won a Bessie award for her 2014 work “Mr. TOL E. RAncE,” began dancing with Ronald K. Brown’s company in 2001. She also appeared with other troupes before founding Camille A. Brown & Dancers several years ago.