Kùlú Mèlé African Dance and Drum Ensemble

Ronald K. Brown at a Kùlú Mèlé master class on January 5, 2013. Photo © Nathea Lee/PhotoBravura.

Founded in 1969, Kùlú Mèlé African Dance and Drum Ensemble seeks to preserve, present, and build upon the dance and music of Africa and the African Diaspora. The company, whose name translates to “voice of our ancestors,” was once described by the New York Times as appearing to move “as if possessed by the drumming that accompanies them.” Recently the ensemble engaged contemporary choreographer Ronald K. Brown, with Center support, to assist in developing new approaches to its work.

References

Grants & Grantees

Composer Phil Kline and choreographer Wally Cardona presented a new site-specific work at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Grants & Grantees

Megawords (run by Dan Murphy and Anthony Smyrski, both Pew Fellows) is self-described as “an experimental media project” that takes the form of a biannual photography magazine, as well as related installation projects and public events.

Grants & Grantees

Flatland 2010 was Jumatatu Poe’s first evening-length work. The final piece incorporated structured audience feedback that Poe received after two work-in-progress showings.

Collaborators & Colleagues

After dancing as a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1984 to 1993, and the White Oak Dance Project from 1994 to 1996, Patricia Lent teaches, stages, and conducts workshops at the Merce Cunningham Trust, where she is a Trustee and Director of Licensing.

Grants & Grantees

Founded in 2005 by Christine Cox and Matthew Neenan, BalletX unites distinguished choreographers with a company of world-class dancers to “forge new works of athleticism, emotion, and grace.”

The Unofficial Guide to Audience Watching Performance is autobiographical and presents a running story in which Xavier, a 2013 Pew Fellow in the Arts, is both narrator and dancer.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Christopher Williams is a dancer, choreographer, and puppeteer who has crafted and performed choreographic works in New York City and abroad.

Questions of Practice

Dance scholar Linda Caruso Haviland shares her thoughts on restaging, reconstruction, reenactment, and reconstruction in dance.

Susan Hess Modern Dance engaged Lucinda Childs and Simon Dove to mentor the resident choreographers of the SHMD Choreographers Project.

Grants & Grantees

Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series has been presenting innovative works in the Philadelphia area since 1984, most recently showcasing the work of choreographer Trisha Brown, as well as John Jasperse and Urban Bush Women, and international artists Khmer Arts Ensemble and Compagnie Jant-Bi.

While Jens Hoffmann was in Philadelphia to lecture at the Center in 2011, he made a few “studio” visits with local dance companies and described the experience to us.

Dancer, choreographer, and Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier tells the autobiographical story of an artistic journey defined by sacrifice, passion, and transcendence.