BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play
reveals the complexity of carving out a self-defined identity as a black female in urban American culture. In a society where black women are often only portrayed in terms of their strength, resiliency, or trauma, this work seeks to interrogate these narratives by representing a nuanced spectrum of black womanhood in a racially and politically charged world.
With original music compositions (live music by pianist, Scott Patterson and electric bassist, Tracy Wormworth), Brown uses the rhythmic play of African-American dance vernacular including social dancing, double dutch, steppin’, tap, Juba, ring shout, and gesture as the black woman’s domain to evoke childhood memories of self-discovery . From play to protest the performers come into their identities, from childhood innocence to girlhood awareness to maturity—all the while shaped by their environments, the bonds of sisterhood, and society at large.