Local choreographer and SB Dance founder Stephen Brown has participated in Repertory Dance Theatre’s annual fund-raiser Charette: The Search for RDT’s Iron Choreographer three out of the five years it has been held. The first time, he was one of the choreographers vying for the title; the second, he was a judge. This year marks his return to the program, again as one of those determining the winner.
“The thing is, the judging part … takes place with a sense of fun,” says Brown, with tongue in cheek. “That’s why bribes are encouraged. It’s not so much about quality as it is bribery. I know for me, as a judge, it’s not what I see before my eyes; it’s what I get in my pocket.”
So, this year the participating choreographers—Cynthia Fleming & Jayne Luke, Peter Christie, Satu Hummasti, Brittany Reese and Jacque Lynne Bell & Roz Newmark—have to figure out how to get in Brown’s back pocket (artistically, if not financially). Alternatively, there are others on the panel they could try to influence, including Janet Gray, Angela Banchero-Keller, Natosha Washington (last year’s winner) and Robin Young.
“This event is mainly just a lot of fun,” Brown says. “The choreographers only have an hour to make something. Basically, you just make the most absurd or memorable thing that you can in an hour and hope that everybody remembers it. And, of course, if what you make ends up really bad, then you hope everyone in the audience doesn’t remember it.”