HIGH LIFE

(2000)

 

Choreography: Ronald K. Brown

Music: Oscar Brown Jr.,

Nikki Giovanni,

JB's, The Nkengas,

Fela Anikulapo Kuti,

Wunmi (Masters at Work)

Costume Design: Omotayo Wunmi Olaiya

Lighting Design: Brenda Gray

 

High Life is built as images of migration and the discovery of decadence. This dance looks at the movement, stories, and music that describe the journey of the African American from the rural south to the north. The work examines music, fashion, and culture which developed in West African cities as young people and families left in their villages, making their way to the dreams and aspirations preg- nant in developing metropolises. The implications of newfound freedom and self-determination are addressed in this dance, where celebration and new beginnings are studied alongside the traditional and cultural values that are lost during the discovery of so-called liberation.

 

High Life was commissioned by Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and 651 Arts and was made possible by the Doris Duke Fund for Dance of the National Dance Project, a program administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Philip Morris Companies Inc.

photo by: Ernesto Mancebo 

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