This community residency took place June 27-29, 2017. Scroll for more information.

Join us in this celebration of social dance! Dance artists Camille A. Brown (2016 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner), Francine E. Ott, and Maria Monge will host a series of dance and movement workshops and events celebrating African-American social dance in Pittsfield. (Artist bios below.)

From “the wing” to “the whip,” participants will explore the ways communities use movement as protest, liberation, and healing, and celebrate the power of African-American social dance and its impact and influence on American dance forms throughout history. The artists will also host workshops for Pittsfield youth; engaging girls and young women in dance.

Community Workshops, A Journey Through Social Dance
June 27, 10-11:30am | Morningside Community School, 100 Burbank Street
June 28, 3-4:30pm | First United Methodist Church, 55 Fenn Street
Rooted in the African-American dance vernacular, this workshop celebrates the power of African-American social dance and its impact and influence on American dance forms throughout history. All ages/levels welcome; FREE.

African American Social Dance – A Celebration!
June 29, 6:30pm | First Methodist Church, 55 Fenn Street
Join artists Camille A. Brown, Francine E. Ott, and Maria Monge in this community event celebrating social dances of all forms. Come ready to move and feel free to bring questions and joy! FREE.

Workshop Description:
Rooted in the African-American vernacular, this movement workshop celebrates the power of African-American social dance and its impact and influence on American dance forms throughout history. Using JUBA* (“pattin juba”) as a jumping off point, participants are taken on a social dance journey. From “the wing” to “the whip,” participants investigate the ways communities used movement as a way of protest, liberation, and/or healing. By learning about the past, the spirit of expression through movement is embodied in our present day – providing the individual with a platform to celebrate their identity and to share their personal expression with the community of participants.

*JUBA: a dance developed by African-Americans on plantations during slavery in America. It is a precursor of Tap. Learn more here.


We celebrate our partners in this residency!
First United Methodist Church
Girls Inc. of the Berkshires – a program of the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center
Lift Ev’ry Voice Festival
Morningside Community School
Pittsfield Public Schools



About the Artists

Photo by Whitney Browne

Camille A. Brown (Choreographer): Broadway: Once on This Island (Fall 2017). A Streetcar Named Desire; Off Broadway/NYC: BELLA: An American Tall Tale (Playwrights Horizons), Cabin in the Sky and tick, tick…BOOM! (Encores!), The Fortress of Solitude (Public Theater); Regional: Stagger Lee, The Fortress of Solitude (Dallas Theatre Center), The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare & McCarter Theatres); Company: Camille A. Brown & Dancers; Awards: 2016 Princess Grace Statue Award, 2016 Jacob’s Pillow Award, 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2016 Bessie Nomination (BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play), 2015 Lucille Lortel Award Nomination (The Fortress of Solitude), 2015 USA Fellow, 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award, 2015 TED Fellow, 2014 Bessie Award (Mr. TOL E. RAncE); Initiatives: The Gathering, Black Girl Spectrum. Ms. Brown’s TED-Ed talk A Visual History of Social Dance in 25 Moves was chosen as one of the most notable talks of 2016 by TED Curator, Chris Anderson, and has over 11 million views on Facebook and counting. www.camilleabrown.org‬.

Francine E. Ott, a native of New Orleans, received her B.F.A in Dance from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and has had the pleasure of studying with many artists that she admires. She has worked and danced with Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company, Brian Green, and Tony Kundu, among others. Ott continues to grow and develop, furthering her artistry with Camille A. Brown and Dancers in many facets. She has had the privilege of teaching many workshops, classes, and residencies—as well as being able to showcase her choreography. Ott received her Masters degree in Mental Health Counseling at Nyack College and is currently the Interim Administrative Assistant for Nyack College’s Counseling Department. Ott has her own company, Francine E. Ott/The Walk, where she is able to integrate the mental health field with the arts, which allows one to further their creativity through a unique therapeutic process—providing a space for growth, change, and transformation in one’s life.

Maria Marcela Monge is originally from Monterey, California. She began her training at the age of four with DiFranco Dance directed by Dianne Lyle. She trained in various dance forms for 15 years. She later received her B.A. in Dance from California State University, Sacramento, where she began her formal dance training under the direction of Dr. Linda S. Goodrich. She has studied at dance intensives such as the CSU Summer Arts Festival with Urban Bush Women, the Makeda Thomas Dance and Performance Institute in Trinidad, and Jacob’s Pillow. Monge studied from 2010-2014 at the annual Ronald K. Brown Evidence, A Dance Company’s workshop series, where she was also a recipient of the Beth Young Scholarship in 2012 and 2013. She has danced with Baba Richard Gonzalez, Sacramento Black Art of Dance, as a guest for Ronald K. Brown/Evidence, A Dance Company, among others. She has taught and choreographed for CSU Sacramento and Brooklyn Tabernacle Dance Ministry. Monge is currently a dance teacher and AFAA certified fitness instructor. She is also a member of Francine E. Ott/The Walk and has assisted her in dance residencies with Dance Theatre Etcetera and Whole Heart Productions. Monge is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling.

About Camille A. Brown & Dancers
Recognized for its introspective approach to cultural themes through visceral movement and socio-political dialogues, Camille A. Brown & Dancers soar through history like a whirlwind. Embodying a strong sense of storytelling, the company uses theatricality and the aesthetics of Modern, Hip hop, African, Ballet, and Tap, to tell stories that connect history with contemporary culture.
Making a personal claim on history through the lens of a modern Black female perspective, Camille A. Brown leads her dancers through excavations of ancestral stories, both timeless and traditional. The work is strongly character based, expressing each choreographic topic by building from little moments to model a filmic sensibility. Theater, poetry, visual art and music of all genres merge to inject each performance with energy and urgency.
The Company has performed in venues both nationally and internationally, including The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, The Yard, American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, The Egg, The Kravis Center, White Bird and Belfast Festival at Queen’s (Belfast, Ireland).

Event Dates

Oh no! You missed this one! Check our calendar for future events.

Camille A. Brown & Dancers
in Pittsfield

At Jacob's Pillow: Jun 27 - Jun 29