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Heroes and Villains

The first movement of Heroes and Villains, deals with our "Visceral" reactions to one another. In the wake of staggering numbers of murders in Baltimore, questions of police brutality, and omnipresent, de-facto segregation, often based on fear or the desire for safety, slowing down snap decisions and revealing the depth of individual lives is our task in this work.
As an intentionally cross-cultural ensemble, we discussed the preconceived notions we have encountered about ourselves, and developed choreography to tell that story.

The second and third movement of this piece deal with "Vulnerability" and "Vision," which, together, are a part of a three-tiered, arts-based community development methodology that Guardian seeks to uphold thorough practice, performance, and the passing on of folk dance traditions.

Dance for Social Change in Sandtown

Through dance instruction and performance, Guardian harnesses positive elements of culture at work in Sandtown to strategically interrupt the cycles of violence which threaten the youth we serve. In the 2015-16 season, our work focused on the famed Apollo theater, and the role that the Arts played in the Great Migration of African Americans from the sharecropping South to the industrial North. This video is a compilation of student performances which were the outcome of this study.

  • Apollo History

    Community members in the Sandtown/Winchester neighborhood were invited to consider the role of dance and the Arts in social change in this exploration of the Apollo Theater's place in the history of Harlem and the Great Migration.

Self Knowledge=Self-Love

In the 2011-12 season, understanding the "African" element of what it means to be "African American" was a focal point of Guardian's work. Through anecdotal inquiry and community conversations, opinions of Africa were found to be related primarily to poverty, sickness and ignorance. Guardian set out to investigate the beauty of Africa through movement in order to rectify these assumptions and repair distorted identities. The music video attached is a tribute to the intersection of the past and the future present in the lives of black Americans.

  • Teach Me How To Kuku (Official Video 2011) by New Song Academy 1st Grade

    This music video is a remix of a popular song "Teach Me How to Dougie" revised to explore the connections between Africa and African Americans. Parents, community members and children in Sandtown were exposed to elements of African culture and invited to celebrate the presence of that rich history in their lives.

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About Breai

Baltimore City

Breai Mason-Campbell is a Baltimore native, dancer, teacher, community activist, and cultural counselor. A Harvard graduate, Breai’s Master’s Thesis explored the role of Hip-Hop as a religious and moral touchstone for African American youth. In 2001, she was selected as a contributor to the Boston Healing... more

Connect with Breai

Guardian Dance Company: http://www.guuardianbaltimore.com


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