COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester

The Opulence of Integrity

Friday–Saturday, March 15–16, 2013
8:00 PM each evening, Mahaney Center for the Arts (MCA), Dance Theatre

The Opulence of Integrity
INSPIRIT Dance Company

The life and legend of Muhammad Ali has inspired a new work by  choreographer and Middlebury College dance faculty member Christal Brown. Her company INSPIRIT performs a suite of dances that incorporate elements of boxing, hip-hop, martial arts, and modern dance, with a sound score by Farai Malianga. See associated events on March 12 and 13, below. Sponsored by the Performing Arts Series, the Dance Program, and Committee on the Arts. Tickets: $20/15/6.  Go to the Box Office>>

Read the press release>>

 Associated residency activities: 
March 12, Tuesday

Master Class with INSPIRIT Dance Company

9:30 AM, MCA Dance Theatre

Beginning and Intermediate technique class. Space is limited. Contact the dance program to pre-register: or 802.443.5245. See associated events throughout the week at go/opulence. Free


March 13, Wednesday

Master Class with INSPIRIT

2:50 PM, MCA Dance Theatre

Intermediate and advanced level technique class. Space is limited. Contact the dance program to pre-register: or 802.443.5245. See associated events throughout the week at go/opulence. Free 


March 13, Wednesday

Lecture/Demonstration: The Opulence of Integrity

4:30 PM, MCA Dance Theatre

Learn more about The Opulence of Integrity and the creative process from choreographer Christal Brown. Reception to follow; Professor of Film and Media Culture Leger Grindon will sign copies of his book Knockout: The Boxer and Boxing in American Cinema.  Residency activities are made possible by the Rothrock Family Fund for Experiential Learning in the Performing Arts. Free

Photos: Robert Mayer


About the Work

"The Opulence of Integrity is a four movement evening-length work inspired by the life and legacy of Muhhamad Ali. Inspired by Ali’s career as a boxer and life as a social activist, public martyr, and human being, choreographer Christal Brown deploys her eclectic movement vernacular to illustrate the turmoil of a life infused by divinity yet misinterpreted by humanity.

The Opulence of Integrity is an exploration of the homogeneous inner struggle of identity as it pertains to men of color in the United States.  Using the life and legacy of Muhhamad Ali as an archetype, I have been able to take an intimate look at the trappings that continually prohibit freedom.   This work is dedicated to my father, brother, and uncle who fought but did not win and to my son who's battle has yet begun.   Born branded by history, burdened by responsibility and inspired towards greatness requires a committed heart and an opulence of integrity."--Christal Brown, choreographer


Christal Brown (Choreographer, educator, performer, writer, activist): is a native of Kinston, North Carolina and received her BFA in dance and minor in Business from the University of NC at Greensboro .  Upon graduation, Brown went on to tour nationally with Chuck Davis' African-American Dance Ensemble and internationally with Andrea E. Woods/Souloworks.  Immediately following those experiences Brown performed with and managed Gesel Mason Performance Projects while apprenticing with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in Takoma Park , MD. Upon relocating to New York Brown apprenticed with the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company before finding a home with Urban Bush Women; where she spent three seasons as a principal performer, community specialist and apprentice program coordinator.  Aside from performing Brown is the Founding and Executive Director of INSPIRIT, a performance ensemble and educational conglomerate dedicated to  bringing female choreographers together to collaborate and show new work, expanding the views of women of all ages, and being a constant source of inspiration to its audience as well as members.  Founded in 2000, INSPIRIT has been honored to show work at Aaron Davis Hall, St. Marks Church, Joyce Soho, The Lincoln Theater of Washington, DC, and various other venues across the country.  Through the growth of INSPIRIT, Brown has also been able to launch a nationwide youth initiative for teen girls called Project: BECOMING and develop a codified technique called "Liquid Strength."  Brown has been a resident artist of Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research, and Tribeca Performing Arts Center and is currently, Assistant Professor of Dance at Middlebury College . Combining her athleticism, creativity, and love for people, and knack for teaching Brown continues to teach and create works that redefine the art of dance and the structure of the field.

Press Quotes 

From the 2011 Guggenheim showing of the work in progress:
“Christal Brown’s choreography brought the music to visual life, utilizing a diversity of dance styles to create just the right swagger and grace for the music…… Brown’s choreography seemed rooted in modern dance while fluidly incorporating hip-hop and African dance ideas.” --David Pearson, I Care If You Listen


Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax