Choreographer fuses traditional African dance with modern moves 

Ronald K. Brown, the founder and choreographer of the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based dance company Evidence, is bringing his latest work, “Two-Year-Old Gentlemen,” to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts from Feb. 4-6. The company is known for fusing traditional African dance with modern choreography and spoken word.

What is Evidence? The company, founded in 1985 in New York, is like my heart. It is a spiritual journey you can follow and express through dance.

Since this is the 25th-anniversary year, what can people expect at the Yerba Buena performance? It’s a time for us to share old favorites, but also return with something new. We decided to work with and include 10 local artists in this show. It was a great way to ask them to share with us and bring something new to the program.

Have you ever used local artists when you are on the road? Yes, we’ve done it. But we use it in different formats. In San Francisco, we are using 10 local artists who have worked with us before to choreograph new pieces to start the show. The experience for those who auditioned for Yerba Buena was so incredible we asked the dancers if they would be willing to let me develop the various materials for the show.

What’s next for Evidence in its 25th year? After San Francisco, we will have our annual gala, then we will depart for a tour to Senegal, North Africa and Nigeria.

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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