“DOTS” by Rodney A. Brown
Assistant Professor Rodney A. Brown is a choreographer and founder/director of The Brown Dance Project (The BDP). Professor Brown connects art, performance and education by involving choreographic practice and advocacy. He has done national and international work as an HIV/AIDS educator— an activism that fuels his concern for using art and dance to enrich the community. On World AIDS Day (2011), The BDP premiered the sound of a feeling, a YouTube dance for the camera commemorating the first reported cases of HIV/AIDS in the United States.
As an independent dance-maker, Brown’s choreographies have been performed in South Africa, Europe, and nationally by concert dance companies, university/college and community programs. His work has garnered commendation from the Ohio Dance Council, American College Dance Festival, and the National Society of Arts and Letters. Brown is a native Daytonian and former member of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC). His most recent ballet The Gatherer / weething (2012), continues a 15 year affiliation with DCDC.
Professor Brown has taught at University of Michigan, Spelman College, Kentucky Governors’ School for the Arts, and most recently as Artistic Director of Dance at Santa Fe College. He received his MFA in Dance from University of Michigan and BA in Performing Arts from Oakland University. Currently, Professor Brown teaches coursework in Contemporary Dance Technique, Repertory/Performance, and Dance Composition.
Dots illuminates the potential of dance as not only a sensory manifestation of movement exploration, but further, a platform for education. As the movement vocabulary stems most vividly from that of contemporary lexicon, Rodney A. Brown employs both abstract and literal gesture to create a work enriched by the pedagogy of action module on HIV education. The dancers, acting as module components, transcribe the action module from language to physicality, describing, embodying, and executing the function of blood within the human body. Through the movers, the dance heightens an association between spoken text and repetitive physical shape to entertain and ultimately, teach the viewer a biology lesson harnessed in the known ways in which HIV can be passed from one individual to another. Important not only for the educative value of the material presented, but more, the utilization of dance as an approach to the learning of science, “Dot” acknowledges the social and political significance of art in contemporary culture.