Home Programs Paf Spotlight May 2012 Spotlight: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts + Ronald K. Brown / Evidence, A Dance Company

May 2012 Spotlight: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts + Ronald K. Brown / Evidence, A Dance Company

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Saint Paul, MN, presented Evidence, A Dance Company in Jan. 2012.

This Performing Arts Fund—supported engagement featured a public performance and 13 residency activities in December and January. The Ordway, recognized as one of the United States’ leading not-for-profit performing arts centers, is home to a wide variety of performances throughout the year that encompass the finest in American musical theater, world music, dance, and vocal artists on its Music Theater and McKnight Theatre stages.

Founded in 1985 by Ronald K. Brown, Evidence, A Dance Company focuses on the seamless integration of traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word. The December residency work with Ronald K. Brown included a faith-based contemporary dance workshop that focused on alignment, rhythm, and using the body to express ideas and themes such as strength, prayer, and celebration; a contemporary masterclass using western modern dance as well as traditional and social dances from West Africa, the Caribbean and the U.S.; and a repertoire masterclass, which incorporated various dance techniques that from the movement vocabulary of the company, including movement phrases from the company’s newest work, On Earth Together.

When the full company arrived in January, they presented a lecture/demonstration and performance at the Ordway’s Music Theater; two performances for K–12 students; and a second public performance as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration at nearby Concordia University. Through the school performances, the Ordway engaged 2,920 students, who came from public, private, charter, and home schools; from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul and from as far away as Saginaw, Minnesota (144.87 miles away); and from Metro Deaf School and Multicultural Indigenous Academy.

“[The company] is one of the most giving dance companies in that their dance speaks to everyday people. I can always see a reflection of myself as a human being in the choreography.” — Community member feedback

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This engagement was a Star Project that deepened participation with a community-based residency.