Camille A. Brown (artistic director and choreographer) is a prolific Black female choreographer who brilliantly combines multiple genres to create a theatrical, filmic, pulsing experience that reclaims and elevates African-American cultural identity to new and important levels of presentation.
Brown made history this past year as the first Black director of a mainstage production at the Metropolitan Opera for her work as co-director, with James Robinson, of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones (fall of 2021), for which she received a 2022 Bessie Award nomination for Outstanding Choreographer. With the 2022 Broadway revival of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, she became the first Black female to direct and choreograph a Broadway show, in over 65 years, since Katherine Dunham. She is also the first Black female to be nominated for a Tony Award as both director and choreographer of a play on Broadway. The production received seven Tony Award nominations and multiple nominations from the Outer Critics Circle, the Drama League, Drama Desk and the Chita Rivera Awards, including Outstanding Director of a Play (Outer Critics Circle, Drama League), Outstanding Revival of a Play (Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle), Outstanding Choreography (Chita Rivera Awards and Outer Critics Circle), and Outstanding Ensemble (Chita Rivera Awards).
Brown has received numerous honors for her powerful body of concert dance work created for her company. She is the recipient of the 2021 ISPA/International Society for the Performing Arts Distinguished Artist Award, a 2020 Dance Magazine Award, and the 2020 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Choreography. Brown is a Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2020 Emerson Fellow, and the recipient of a Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, a Doris Duke Artist Award, and a United States Artist Award. She is also a five-time Princess Grace Award winner and a Bessie Award winner. Most recently, she was named one of the Kennedy Center’s Next 50 artists. Brown’s work has been commissioned by renowned dance organizations such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Urban Bush Women, and Complexions, to name a few. Her City of Rain, originally created on Camille A. Brown & Dancers in 2010, entered the repertory of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in December 2019. Brown has created 13 dances for her company, including the three evening-long works that comprise The Trilogy. On September 29, 2022, Brown premiered a new work, Journey I, II, III, created for her dancers to an original score by Wynton Marsalis, to celebrate the opening of the David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center.
Brown’s Broadway and Off-Broadway theater, opera, film, and television choreography credits include the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Once On This Island (Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Chita Rivera nominations), Toni Stone (Drama Desk, Lortel nominee), Emmy Award-winning Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert on NBC, Broadway’s A Streetcar Named Desire, The Fortress of Solitude (Lortel nomination), Much Ado About Nothing (broadcast live on PBS) for the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix), and Tracy Oliver’s television series Harlem (Amazon Prime). She is the choreographer of the Metropolitan Opera’s Porgy and Bess, the choreographer of The 1619 Project docuseries, and the forthcoming Broadway production of Soul Train, directed by Kamilah Forbes.
Brown began her professional career as a dancer with Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, a Dance Company from 2001–07. She is a graduate of the LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts and received a BFFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Brown is grateful for the incredible opportunities she has had in both concert and commercial dance and their mutual influence on her ability to create the work you are seeing this evening.