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Shamel Pitts (2003 Dance), YoungArts 2020 Fall Dance Residency. Photo by Taylor Antisdel.

Watch: Shamel Pitts’ Touch of RED

By YoungArts | August 4, 2022

Shamel Pitts (2003 Dance) recalls the feeling in 2020 of emerging from six months of dancing in his living room and beginning residency at New York Live Arts, in partnership with YoungArts, for development of his new work, Touch of RED. “To come back to a theater, to be back on a stage for creation and residency during these very bizarre times felt not only like the biggest gift in the world for a dancer and choreographer, but it also felt like I was returning home,” Pitts said.

A male duet taking place in a contemporary ring, Touch of RED deals with the allowance of Black men to soften; the power in vulnerability; and the meeting point of two individuals within a boxed space that subverts our notion of what might ensue: “There is a match, but the match is not met out of combat or aggression or violence, but out of an intrigue in one another, out of an interest and curiosity and electricity toward one another.”

Choreographic and technical elements for the work continued to develop throughout 2020 and 2021, including during a residency at Miami Light Project, in partnership with YoungArts. We’re proud to partner once again with Miami Light Project for the presentation of Touch of RED this November.

Touch of RED is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Project co-commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow, YoungArts, Miami Light Project Inc, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, New York Live Arts Inc, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and NPN.

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