Ronald K. Brown's Portrait of Billie Holiday Premieres at Jacob's Pillow

Classic Arts News   Ronald K. Brown's Portrait of Billie Holiday Premieres at Jacob's Pillow
 
Ronald K. Brown/Evidence performs the world premiere of Blueprint of a Lady, a new dance portrait of Billie Holiday, at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival tonight. Singer Nnenna Freelon and a jazz quartet will perform the score live.

Blueprint of a Lady is set to Holiday's signature songs, including "God Bless the Child" and "Lover Man," as well as original music by Freelon. It also makes use of projections by videographer Robert Penn.

According to a press release, the work seeks to "rename and reclaim" Holiday's legacy, "using her iconic status to examine race, human rights, poverty, and their role in American society." The piece examines the history of blues and jazz from 1900 through 1959, the year of Holiday's death.

Tonight's program, which runs through July 10, also includes Grace, a 1999 work set to music by Duke Ellington, Fela Kuti, and house musician Roy Davis Jr.

Blueprint of a Lady was co-commisioned by the Mondavi Center in Davis, California; the New Jersey Performing Arts Center; and Jacob's Pillow. It will be seen at the Mondavi Center in October and at NJPAC in November.


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