It was a pleasure and an honor to be part of Performance Mix Festivals #31 (Infinite Corridor) and #36 (Meeting the Moai: Head Over Heels.) In both instances, the artists were made to feel welcomed and truly celebrated for their work, as reflected by attention to publicity, technical needs, and convivial gatherings. This festival truly practices diversity, equity, and inclusion, as manifested in their roster of performing artists each year. Big thanks to New Dance Alliance, Karen Bernard, and the entire Performance Mix Festival team who make it such a fulfilling and joyful experience for artists and audiences alike.
Bernard Brown is a Los Angeles-based choreographer, dancer, and educator who situates his work at the intersection of blackness, belonging, and memory. Bernard serves as Artistic Director of Bernard Brown/bbmoves, choreographing for stage, specific sites, film, and opera. In addition to presenting his scholarship on blackness, queerness, and dance nationally, Bernard’s choreography is presented widely, including Seoul, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Scott Joplin’s opera, “”Treemonisha,”” for Skylark Opera. Some career highlights include a twenty-year tenure at Lula Washington Dance Theatre, restaging Donald McKayle’s canonical “Games” for the Kennedy Center’s Masters of African American Choreography, performing on the Daytime Emmy’s, in Penumbra Theater’s “Black Nativity,” Donald Byrd’s “Harlem Nutcracker,” David Rousseve’s “Halfway to Dawn,” an invitation to perform with Mikhail Baryshnikov in Robert Wilson’s “Letter to a Man,” with choreography by Lucinda Childs, and being the titular dancer in Nike’s “12 Miles North: The Nick Gabaldon Story,” the first documented Afro-Mexican American surfer. His work as a creative merges physical practice, research and theory. Recipient of the Westfield Emerging Artist and Lester Horton Awards, Bernard has been featured in Dance Magazine, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times for his dance activism. He continues to work closely with Dr. Shamell Bell and Street Dance Activism. Bernard is published in the peer-reviewed dance journals, Dancer-Citizen, and The Activist History Review. A recent Artist-In-Residence at B Street Theatre, Bernard has also conducted residencies, workshops and master classes in Israel, Brazil and across the US including American College Dance Association and the International Association of Blacks in Dance conferences. With former faculty positions at UCLA and Sacramento State University, Bernard is now an Assistant Professor of Dance at Loyola Marymount University and is a Certified Katherine Dunham Instructor Candidate. The LA Times has called him “…the incomparable Bernard Brown…”
Bernard Brown/bbmoves will present Cravings, an excerpt from Processing Sugar Notes. With notions of desire at its core, the work examines how health disparities, addiction, and the lasting effects of colonialism continue to infiltrate the lives of the global majority (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) through the lens of the world’s largest crop, sugar. Ubiquitous in contemporary life, sugar corners us, driving us to reckon with our choices, with ourselves.