Productions on ice

2019 (works in progress) 2022 (premiered)

Tracing Sacred Steps blends modern dance, social justice practice, figure skating, and Ring Shout. Brownbody premiered the full presentation of Tracing Sacred Steps in June 2022 and previously co-presented an excerpt of Tracing Sacred Steps in 2019.

Photos by Alice Gebura


A solo work that centers Blackness and explores honest and nuanced narratives around African American history and Africanist aesthetics via using energetic contradictions within the relationship between sound and movement on the ice. Set to the music of Nicholas Brittell, Presence, choreographed by Brownbody founder and Artistic Director, Deneane Richburg, engages the Black body to illustrate unique bodily shapes and pathways while playing with moments of momentum versus stillness. This work premiered during Ice Theater of New York’s City Skate Series at Rockefeller Ice Rink.

Photos by Alice Gebura

2015 (premiere) re-developed in 2017

Set to a soundscape created in collaboration with and performed by actress and Twin Cities vocalist, Thomasina Petrus, Quiet As It’s Kept (which premiered in May 2015) captures the complexity and turbulence of the post-Civil War Reconstruction period and the rise of Jim Crow “governance” and draws parallels between these time periods and contemporary racial struggles.

Photos by Jon Dahlin (2015)
Photos by Aidan Un (2017)

2011 – remounted for the ice in 2013

A duet, this work has been performed both for the stage and on the ice and is based on the novel Beloved by Toni Morrison, which tells the story of Sethe. Having escaped Sweet Home, the Kentucky based plantation on which she was a slave and was tormented by Schoolteacher (the overseer) and his nephews, Sethe has relocated to 124 Bluestone Road, her mother in laws’ home outside of Cincinnati with her daughter, Denver.

Photos by Richard Fleischman


Playing with the tension between stoic observers in the performance space and the pain expressed by the soloist and soundscape artist, the solo takes place in a small space to highlight the restricted spaces individuals such as Saartjie were allowed to inhabit in western civilization.

Photos by Richard Scott

2007 and re-developed in 2013

Journey to solace.

Photos by Richard Fleischman

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