BDBB: The Black Dance and Broadway Blog

Covering black professionals and professional productions in the dance and theater worlds, plus general arts news

Arts News: Abraham, McCraney, Weems Among 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Fellows

Choreographer Kyle Abraham, playwright-actor-author Tarell Alvin McCraney and photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems are among the 24 people named MacArthur Foundation Fellows for 2013 according to an announcement earlier today. The so-called “genius” grants come with a no-strings-attached $625,000 stipend paid over five years.

Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Kyle Abraham, 36, is a Brooklyn-based choreographer and founder of Abraham.in.Motion.

Says the Foundation, “Kyle Abraham is a choreographer and dancer probing the relationship between identity and personal history through a unique hybrid of traditional and vernacular dance styles that speaks to a new generation of dancers and audiences. With diverse training in music, visual art, and dance—and breathtaking skill as a performer—Abraham’s highly physical dance vocabulary reflects the youthful energy of the hip-hop and urban dance he encountered in his adolescence as well as a strong grounding in modern dance technique.”

Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Tarell Alvin McCraney, 32, is a Chicago-based playwright, author and actor.

Says the Foundation, “Tarell Alvin McCraney is a playwright exploring the rich diversity of the African American experience in works that imbue the lives of ordinary people with epic significance. Complementing his poetic, intimate language with a musical sensibility and rhythmic, often ritualistic movement, McCraney transforms intentionally minimalist stages into worlds marked by metaphor and imagery.”

Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Carrie Mae Weems, 60, is a Syracuse-based photographer and video artist.

Says the Foundation, “Carrie Mae Weems is a photographer and video installation artist examining the complex and contradictory legacy of African American identity, class, and culture in the United States. Her intimate depictions of children, adults, and families in simple settings document and interpret the ongoing and centuries-old struggle for racial equality, human rights, and social inclusion in America.”

For more information about the MacArthur Fellows, go to:  http://www.macfound.org/fellows/class/2013/

– Karyn D. Collins

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