We all wear a mask...

Winner of a 2014 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production!

"Mr. TOL E. RAncE" Trailer  

Inspired by Mel Watkins’ book, “On The Real Side: From Slavery to Chris Rock”, Spike Lee’s controversial movie, “Bamboozled”, and Dave Chappelle’s “dancing vs. shuffling” analogy, this evening-length dance theater work celebrates African-American humor, examines “the mask” of survival and the “double consciousness” (W.E.B. DuBois) of the black performer throughout history and the stereotypical roles dominating current popular Black culture.

“Inside TOL, Camille fluidly reflects haunting past images of blackness; reminding us of how far we have gone, and where we may need to go, in order to craft authentic intercultural discussions on race, equity and social stereotyping.” — Baraka de Soleil, D Underbelly Blog

Learn more about Camille A. Brown's Trilogy on Black Identity in this self written article for The Offing.

The Mask of Survival: Black Performance in Dance

We All Wear A Mask...
“I’ll tell you this, many black people still live out the facade of the minstrel. We wear a mask. Much of what we say and what we do is done in metaphor and done with subtext and other meaning, because we have not had the best of experiences when you go straight to the heart of the problems in this country, because this nation becomes so punitive when it hears the truth about us.”–Harry Belafonte

“The work goes deep into its material and finds humor and beauty and frustration and ugliness and…and… and." — Nim Wunnan, Oregon Arts Watch

Want to learn more about the themes and history explored in "Mr. TOL E. RAncE"? Check out our Reference and Resource Guide below.

"Mr. TOL E. RAncE" Reference & Resource Guide  

“..incredible—dynamic, demanding, and emotive… live, virtuosic piano playing (Scott Patterson)… it sticks with you.” — Jenna Lechner, The Portland Mercury

“She knew when she began choreographing that the piece called for theatrical comedy. Sprinkled in, though, were definite moments of poignancy, thought-provoking and heartfelt…the audience held their breath.” — Pittsburgh Gazette

Credits: Story

The creation and presentation of Mr. TOL E. RAncE is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with the New England Foundation for the Arts through the National Dance Project (NDP). Major support for NDP is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation. Support from the NEA provides funding for choreographers in the early stages of their careers. This work was created, in part, during a Creative Development Residency at the Bates Dance Festival and Kingsborough Community College. This work was also funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Production residency for this work was supported by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This residency took place at The Grier School and Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts at Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA.

Credits: All media
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