Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble performers include, from left, Shawn Hawkins, Cria Merchant and Alexander Zander Brown. (Courtesy Alan Kimara Dixon)

Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble performers include, from left, Shawn Hawkins, Cria Merchant and Alexander Zander Brown. (Courtesy Alan Kimara Dixon)

Kendra Kimbrough Dance turns 20 with two premieres

As she has for two decades, Kendra Kimbrough Barnes isn’t shying away from taking on pertinent and timely social issues in her dance.

Her troupe, Kendra Kimbrough Dance Ensemble, is marking its 20th anniversary season this weekend in Oakland with two premieres: a personal piece by Barnes called “Angst: 3AM,” and “Reflections,” a reunion of former and current company dancers paying tribute to founding member Roquisha Townsend.

In part inspired by her teen son, Barnes says, “‘Angst: 3 AM’ intimately looks at anxiety in and among African American boys, during their self-identity formation, and how it affects the relationships within their families and the community.”

She says her son has struggled with his standing, confidence and power in a world that appears to be afraid of him. She adds, “This is a critical time in society and African-American culture to talk about the challenges of black boys and how their internal and external experiences with anxiety play out in relationships with families, schools and the larger communities.”

The dance, which incorporates interviews and research, is the result of extensive collaboration with script director Delina Patrice Brooks and original sound by Alexander Zander Brown and Gina Breedlove.

“Reflections” reunites KKDE members performing in a compilation of past repertory as an homage to Townsend, who lost her battle to kidney cancer in October 2015.

Known for its performers of varied ages, body types and ethnicities, the group proudly fuses modern dance with movement from African, Brazilian and North Indian cultures.

The 20th Anniversary program is onstage at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 and 4:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Odell Johnson Theater, Laney College, 900 Fallon St., Oakland. Tickets, $20-$40, may be purchased at kkde20.brownpapertickets.com.


Angst: 3AMDanceKendra Kimbrough BarnesKendra Kimbrough Dance EnsembleReflections

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA to resume ‘poverty tows’ amid calls to make temporary ban permanent

Fines and fees hurt low-income, homeless residents, but officials say they are a necessary tool

Income from Shared Spaces will provide financial resources to the San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency, according to its director, Jeffrey Tumlin. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA director says Shared Spaces serves transit agency’s financial interest

$10.6 million price tag for program raises concerns among transit agency’s board members

A broad coalition of tenants and housing rights organizers rally at Stanley Mosk Courthouse to protest eviction orders issued against renters Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, in Los Angeles, CA. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Federal judge strikes down CDC’s national moratorium on evictions

David Yaffe-Bellany, Noah Buhayar Los Angeles Times A federal judge in Washington… Continue reading

Most Read