Evidence In The Performance

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On Monday, February 6, acclaimed choreographer Ronald K. Brown’s EVIDENCE Dance Company held their annual Winter Gala featuring an incredible performance of Brown’s work at the Hudson Theater of the Millennium Broadway Hotel.  Many prominent members of the African-American arts, entertainment and media community attended to lend their support of the future of African-American dance. “Look at what they are doing to support African-Americans in terms of our culture and really putting it out there and mirroring all that’s beautiful and powerful and spiritual about us. It just warms my heart,â€? declared  Susan L. Taylor, Editorial Director of Essence Magazine.

Ronald K. Brown, known for his incredible work with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, is the Founder and Artistic Director of EVIDENCE Dance Company. Evidence, Inc. is dedicated to creating opportunities to share dance, literature and theater that educates. Through master classes, workshops and performances of contemporary dance, Evidence aims to offer cultural expression rooted in social, traditional and modern art forms. The organization offers a movement style with a range of influences from the Americas, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Cuba, Haiti, and The Congo. 

The gala is a major fundraiser to support the efforts and talent of Evidence, Inc. that recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. As many African-American arts organizations run into financial trouble, Taylor explains that “it’s critical we support emerging artists.  African-American artists, not only emerging but even established ones, often have such a difficult time raising money to so that they can continue creating.â€?

Debra Lee, President and COO of Black Entertainment Television, chairwoman for the event, also stresses involvement in the arts. “It’s very important to support African-American arts organizations, you know we have a great history in the arts. I’m a big fan of dance in particular so to be able to come out tonight and support Evidence is really important. We can’t let all of our institutions fall by the wayside,� she said.

In addition to their annual winter gala, EVIDENCE brings their talent and cultural diversity to the Hamptons each summer through their Nova Ark Project. The distinguished sculpture park featuring works by world renown sculptor, Nova, provides the perfect aesthetic to showcase Brown’s work and skilled dancers while bringing a piece of African-American culture to new audiences. Earl Graves, Sr. believes that supporting smaller arts groups like EVIDENCE leads the way for supporting the bigger picture of African-American culture. 

“I obviously think we have to support a myriad of Black organizations whether or not its business, whether or not theater, African-American schools, charities because they are very important to us,� he observed. “Two things come to mind: the Martin Luther King memorial with the burial of Mrs. King this week, and the African-American Museum and Memorial. Those are two things that are going to take a lot of money but it doesn’t mean we can forget New Orleans; it just means we have to do more and give more. I think this evening we can enjoy this cultural event and know we are going to continue to support each other.�

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