On Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the Performance Garage in Philadelphia, Kùlú Mèlé African Dance & Drum Ensemble will give a free public presentation that culminates their extended residency with choreographer Ronald K. Brown. This residency, which began last August, has taken Kùlú Mèlé on a journey of discovery to better understand how its mission, practice and traditional repertoire can maintain its relevance for audiences attuned to contemporary dance aesthetics. As a dance artist, Brown shares Kùlú Mèlé’s interest in preserving African traditions through a blending with modern and urban styles. During this residency he has worked with Kùlú Mèlé’s Artistic Director Dorothy Wilkie and the dancers and drummers to expand the current repertoire through movement exploration and facilitated internal conversations.
“Can you talk to these young people about using their tradition to make contemporary work? So I feel like that’s what my work here is with Kùlú Mèlé."
—Ronald K. Brown discussing the question, “What is contemporary dance?”
View a short video interview of Brown discussing his work with Kùlú Mèlé and how it has connected to this question here.
1515 Brandywine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Above: Kùlú Mèlé dancers in 2008. Photo by Jaci Downs.