COCA, an Arts and Education Council grantee, is committed to progressing its approach to dance education and elevating the community’s dance theatre experience. They’re demonstrating that commitment this weekend as EVIDENCE, A Dance Company showcases a collection of ensemble work for audiences live in the new Catherine B. Berges Theatre and for at-home viewers. The concert is the culmination of Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, A Dance Company’s Artist-in-Residence engagement with COCA and features COCA Co-Artistic Director of Dance Kirven Douthit-Boyd as a guest artist, performing on stage.

Ronald K. Brown founded EVIDENCE in 1985 in Brooklyn, New York. The mission of EVIDENCE is to promote understanding of the human experience in the African Diaspora through dance and storytelling and to provide sensory connections to history and tradition through music, movement, and spoken word, leading deeper into issues of spirituality, community responsibility and liberation.

Brown is one of the nation’s most celebrated choreographers. He has set works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Ballet Hispánico, Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Jeune Ballet d’Afrique Noire, Ko-Thi Dance Company, Malpaso Dance Company, Philadanco and many others. Brown additionally received a Fred & Adele Astaire Award for Outstanding Choreography in the Tony Award-winning Broadway and national touring production of The Gershwins’ “Porgy and Bess”.

“We wanted to bring the company into St. Louis and have them just create,” said COCA Co-Artistic Director of Dance Kirven Douthit-Boyd. “That’s the idea of this artist-in-residence series, that professional dancers and companies can come in and use the space to create.”

Douthit-Boyd also shared that Brown taught a community masterclass while in St. Louis and that he’ll give a talk back following the Friday, April 16 performance. Audience members can hear from Brown as he discusses his artistic process and what audiences and artists can gain from engaging with the process of dance.

See Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, A Dance Company, April 16–18, 2021, in the new Catherine B. Berges Theatre. The performances will also be livestreamed for at-home viewing. In-person tickets are $25; Livestream tickets are $20. Purchase tickets here

COCA’s Health & Safety Procedures for theatre productions have been approved by St. Louis County. For a full list of health and safety protocols, visit cocastl.org/campus-safety.

Antonio and Kirven Douthit-Boyd’s commitment to elevating our arts community is one of the reasons they’re being honored with an Excellence in the Arts Award at the 2021 St. Louis Arts Awards on Monday, May 24, 2021.

Did you know you can celebrate Antonio and Kirven Douthit-Boyd with a St. Louis Arts Awards Tribute Gift? A tribute gift is a great way to honor and celebrate honorees. When a tribute gift is received, we will send an acknowledgment to the honoree indicated, notifying them of your thoughtful donation, but will not reveal the amount of the donation. Every gift is tax-deductible, and you will receive an acknowledgment of your donation. Make a gift here.