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Dance, Race and Music: Kyle Abraham

November 22, 2016

Kyle Abraham, the critically acclaimed choreographer and dancer, recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant and Artistic Director of Abraham.In.Motion will visit on Thursday, December 1 for a lecture, free and open to the public starting at 7pm in Mitchell Auditorium (3141 Market Street). Abraham, with diverse training in music, visual art and dance combined with his breathtaking skill as a performer expresses a physical dance vocabulary reflecting the youthful energy of the hip-hop and urban dance he encountered in his adolescence as well as a strong grounding in modern dance technique. He will speak to the political body and the esthetics of movement-based social practice.

Abraham’s choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad including Philly Live Arts, Portland’s Time Based Arts Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Bates Dance Festival, Harlem Stage, Fall for Dance Festival at New York's City Center, The Andy Warhol Museum and The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

As a performer, Abraham has worked with acclaimed modern dance companies including David Dorfman Dance, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Burnt Sugar Dance Conduction Continuum, Nathan Trice/Rituals, Mimi Garrard Dance Theater, Dance Alloy, The Kevin Wynn Collection and Attack Theatre. In addition to performing and developing new works for his company, Abraham.In.Motion, Abraham also teaches his unique approach to post-modern dance in various schools and studios throughout the United States.

The mission of Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion is to create an evocative interdisciplinary body of work. Born into hip-hop culture in the late 1970s and grounded in Abraham’s artistic upbringing in cello, piano, and the visual arts, the goal of the movement is to delve into identity in relation to personal history. The work ultimately entwines a sensual and provocative vocabulary with a strong emphasis on sound, human behavior and all things visual in an effort to create an avenue for a personal investigation and exposing that on stage.

Abraham is a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award Recipient, 2015 City Center Choreography Fellow and Abraham received a prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show, and a Princess Grace Award for Choreography in 2010. He was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 To Watch for 2009, and received a Jerome Travel and Study Grant in 2008. Most recently, he joined the faculty at UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Culture/Dance at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture. In late November, he will have new work performed in New York City on the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

​Photo by Steven Schreiber, courtesy Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion