Choreographer Christal Brown effortlessly integrates dance, theatre, multimedia elements, and a cast of diverse male dancers personifying aspects of Muhammad Ali’s boxing career and social activism efforts.
Inspired by the life and legend of Muhammad Ali, The Opulence of Integrity incorporates elements of boxing, hip-hop, martial arts, and modern dance choreographed by Christal Brown to an original sound score by Farai Malianga.
The Opulence of Integrity is a four-movement work inspired by Ali’s career as a boxer and social activist, and his life as a public martyr and as a mortal human being. Brown notes, “The work deploys an eclectic movement vernacular to illustrate the turmoil of a life infused by divinity, yet misinterpreted by humanity.” The performance also explores the inner struggle for identity as it pertains to men of color in the United States, with an intimate look at the trappings that continually inhibit freedom. Brown dedicates the work to her father, brother, and uncle who fought but did not win, and to her own son, whose battle has not yet begun. To be born branded by history, burdened by responsibility, and inspired towards greatness requires a committed heart and an opulence of integrity.
Christal Brown is a choreographer, educator, performer, writer, and activist. She received her BFA in dance and minor in business from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Brown has toured domestically and internationally with companies including the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and Urban Bush Women. She is also the founder and executive director of INSPIRIT, a performance ensemble and educational conglomerate dedicated to bringing female choreographers together to collaborate and show new work, expanding the views of women of all ages. The Opulence of Integrity represents a departure from INSPIRIT’s milieu and her first foray working with an all-male ensemble. Brown has also launched a nationwide youth initiative for teen girls called Project: BECOMING and developed a codified technique called Liquid Strength. She has been a past resident artist of Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research, and Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and is currently an assistant professor of dance at Middlebury College.