'Evidence' of the Elegant World that Surrounds Us

    Most dance performances tend to cater to the high-brow society. After all, if a bunch of people jumping around to express the human condition doesn’t count as pretentious, then what does? Enter Ronald K. Brown and his dance company, Evidence, to save the day, with works rooted in West African traditions and modern-day America. As critics hail, he captures the spirituality and the emotions that surround us as humans in the prominent and elegant art of dance.

    Courtesy of University Events Office
    Living proof: Ronald K. Brown and his Evidence troupe will bring their blend of Western African influences and euphoric modern dance to UCSD.

    Yes, on paper this sounds pretentious and high-brow, but Brown insists on broadening his works to appeal to a wide audience. While he isn’t the first artist to aim for accessibility while still retaining grace, most artists fall into the trap of equating accessibility with the “dumbing down factor.” While most of us Americans are slow to adapt to the artistic advances of the modern age (it did take 91X over a decade to play the Pixies), Brown refuses to give up. Bear in mind that the current status of humanity is no trivial matter. Postmodernism is a chaotic mess, and, so far, the avant garde has been the only effective means to scratch the surface of our current state of redundancy.

    Sound depressing? Brown certainly thinks so. His dance group Evidence will set out to kill such notions and remind us of the beauty and joy of life. The choreography resonates with his diverse selection of music ranging from hip-hop to classical. The diversification and blending of styles broadens Brown’s audience and functions as a powerful medium of storytelling. As a result, his choreographies are grand stories that touch on personal human emotions. Brown insists on not only having his dancers in Evidence focus on raw technique, but also on the spiritual and emotional connection with the audience. With these efforts, he wishes to shed new light on our daily lives. Evidence is a celebration of life, and Brown uses his choreography as “evidence” of its beauty.

    Ronald K. Brown/Evidence will perfom at Mandeville Auditorium at 8 p.m. on Jan. 26. Tickets are $24 for students and $34 for general admission.

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