Award Winning Kyle Abraham Reconnects With His Roots
Newest dance piece, 'Pavement' explores the heritage of Pittsburgh's historically black neighborhoods
Award Winning Kyle Abraham
Reconnects With His Roots
Rising star Kyle Abraham returns to the Dance Place stage on Saturday, April 6 at 8pm and Sunday, April 7 at 7pm with his newest dance piece, Pavement. Exploring the heritage of Pittsburgh’s historically black neighborhoods, Pavement displays the emotional chronology of a culture steeped in discrimination, poverty, and a driving quest for freedom.
Pittsburg becomes the setting and subject of this dance work as Abraham contrasts the vibrant community of the 1950s – when jazz staples like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington performed at local theaters and the streets thrived with small businesses – with the Pittsburgh of today. The theaters that once held the voices of legends are dilapidated, and street fronts where families once made their livelihood are ravaged by gang violence and the drug trade.
The choreographer talks of his hometown and shares how his upbringing in that time and place influenced the work: “In 1991, I was fourteen and entering the ninth grade at Schenley High School in the historic Hill District of Pittsburgh. That same year, John Singleton’s film, Boyz N The Hood was released. For me, the film depicted an idealize “Gangsta Boheme” laying aim to the state of the Black American male at the end of the 20th century. Twenty years later and more than ten years into the 21st century, I am focused on investigating the state of Black America and a history therein.”
About Kyle Abraham
2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient and 2012 USA Ford Fellow, Kyle Abraham began his training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He continued his dance studies in New York, receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
In November 2012, Abraham was named the newly appointed New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist for 2012–2014. Just one month later, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater premiered Abraham’s newest work, Another Night at New York’s City Center to rave reviews. Rebecca Bengal of Vogue writes, “What Abraham brings to Ailey is an avant-garde aesthetic, a original and politically minded downtown sensibility that doesn’t distinguish between genres but freely draws on a vocabulary that is as much Merce and Martha as it is Eadweard Muybridge and Michael Jackson.” In 2010, Abraham received a prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show, and 2010 Princess Grace Award for Choreography and was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 To Watch in 2009.
His choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad.
In addition to performing and developing new works for his company, Abraham.In.Motion, Abraham also teaches his unique approach to post-modern dance in various schools and studios throughout the United States.
Born into Hip hop culture in the late 70s and grounded in Abraham’s artistic upbringing in classical cello, piano and visual arts, the movement’s goal is to delve into identity in relation to a personal history. aWith a mission to create an evocative interdisciplinary body of work, the company intertwines a sensual and provocative movement vocabulary with a strong emphasis on sound, human behavior and all things visual in an effort to create an avenue for personal investigation.aA.I.M is a representation of dancers from various dance disciplines and diverse personal backgrounds. Combined together, these individuals create a social narrative crafted by Abraham’s personal movement impulses and varied inspirations.
WHAT: Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion Presents Pavement
WHEN: Saturday, April 6 at 8pm and Sunday, April 7 at 7pm
WHERE: Dance Place, 3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017; two blocks from Redline Brookland/CUA Metro station; free and convenient parking
TICKETS: 2 General Admission; 7 Dance Place Members, Seniors (55+), Teachers (pre K-12), Artists; 0 College Students; for Children (ages 2-17)
To purchase tickets visit www.danceplace.org or call (202) 269-1600
About Dance Place:
Founded in 1980, Dance Place builds a community of dance artists, audiences, and students through high quality performances, commissions, training and educational program. We are committed to enriching the field of dance locally, nationally and internationally. Our thriving arts campus serves as an anchor in the development of our Brookland neighborhood in Washington, DC.