Hamilton's incantatory music and Brenda Dolan's intense lighting design, this opening sequence of Ron Brown's Walking Out the Dark (2001) is an aching study in human disconnection.
But the episodic marquee piece to be performed here on opening night when Brown brings his company Evidence to the Power Center on Sunday and Monday, January 16 and 17 is so much more, embodying as it does Brown's dizzying synthesis of influences and histories. As an African American choreographer, Brown honors the cultural continuum that includes Asadata Dafora (credited with being the first to meld West African dance with theatrical polish in the 1930s), Katherine Dunham, and Alvin Ailey and transforms it. His expansive lexicon seamlessly fuses West African and Afro-Caribbean vernacular, Brazilian capoeira, modern dance, hip-hop, ballet, and club moves. Brown has described his cohesive aesthetic as "evidence" of everything that makes up who we are: our ancestors, life lessons, deeply felt yearnings, and spirituality.