In January, I trekked from D.C. to New York City in the snow for the sold-out performance of Black Velvet: Architectures and Archetypes. Five months later, I’m still thinking it. Sold out performances are becoming routine for Shamel Pitts and Mirelle Martins. The New York Times recently listed their May NYC performances of the show as one of “10 Dance Performances to See in N.Y.C. this Weekend.”
Black Velvet is the second work in a triptych that Pitts has been working on since he left Batsheva in 2016. He received his BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and began his professional dance career with BJM_Danse Montreal and Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Hell’s Kitchen Dance. He continued his career with Batsheva Dance Company for seven years and is now a teacher of Gaga, the movement language created by Ohad Naharin. He has taught for both Batsheva Dance Company and The Young Ensemble, and stages Ohad Naharin’s repertory on many companies around the world. He is a performance artist, dancer, spoken word artist, and an adjunct teacher at Harvard University and The Juilliard School.
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