A Special Event and New Collaboration

ShaLeigh Comerford joined CURRENT ArtSpace and Studio for post-show gathering after Shamel Pitts’s Black Velvet: Architectures and Archetypes and Bobbi Jene Smith’s A Study on Effort

New works by former Batsheva dancers no doubt captivated and challenged audiences, and ignited critical conversations about aesthetics, the body, race, gender, affect, and more. In order to support these conversations, to give them space and time to happen, Comerford joined the post-show gathering at The Franklin Hotel bar on Thursday, April 25th, following the performance with Carolina Performing Art’s Associate Director of Engagement Amanda Graham and Mellon DisTIL Post Doctoral Fellow Alexandra Ripp. The whole company was moved to their core by both performances. It was an honor to experience these bold new works at home and to celebrate Executive and Artistic Director Emil Kang’s remarkable talent for finding next generation’s leading edge.

Comerford and Pitts are currently launching a new collaboration for ShaLeigh Dance Work’s 2020 season. Comerford remembers Pitts well from her time in Israel with the Batsheva Company, but it wasn’t until his visit to Durham in 2017 that the two had a chance to really connect. Pitts happened to be in town to create a duet with Saar Harari at the American Dance Festival where Comerford was taking class. He soon returned to Brooklyn with his work BLACK VELVET: Architectures and Archetypes. The piece, which played to sold-out houses in NYC and around the world, is the second installment of the Black Series and a follow-up to his autobiographical solo Black Box. The multimedia-infused BLACK VELVET, choreographed by Pitts, is a product a of two-year collaboration with his performing partner Mirelle Martins and lighting designer Lucca del Carlo. The work will be performed on May 9-12 at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAM Fisher/ Fishman Space. You won’t want to miss it! And if you get a chance to meet these powerful artists, the inspiration travels both on and off stage!

Black Velvet: Architectures and Archetypes
Dancer Shamel Pitts (formerly of Batsheva Dance Company) and Brazilian performance artist Mirelle Martins’ Black Velvet is “a heart-piercing exploration of gender, race, identity, love and friendship” (Time Out Israel).

A Study on Effort
Created by veteran of Batsheva Dance Company Bobbi Jene Smith, this hour-long dialogue between dancer Ariel Freedman and violinist Keir GoGwilt is an emotional collaboration and a visceral experience. (Please note: Bobbi Jene Smith is unable to perform on April 24 and 25. Her role will be danced by Ariel Freedman.)

ABOUT: The mission of Carolina Performing Arts is to curate and present exceptional arts experiences that inspire and provoke the UNC community and beyond and celebrate the intrinsic value of the creative process. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit their website here

ShaLeigh Dance Works company members celebrating an AMAZING, and for some, THE FIRST, Gaga class!

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