Acclaimed Dance Artist Shamel Pitts Presents His Newest Production: Black Velvet -- Architectures And Archetypes

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A collaboration with Brazilian dance artist Mirelle Martins and lighting artist Lucca del Carlo combines avant-garde, GaGa-inspired movements, and multimedia visual schemes to create Black Velvet - Architectures and Archetypes an original and all-new multidisciplinary dance production created by and featuring international dance artist Shamel Pitts.

Black Velvet - Architectures and Archetypes premiered in São Paulo, Brazil in November 2016 at Teatro Sérgio Cardoso and is the focal point of a KickStarter campaign aiming to bring the live dance production to theaters and performance halls worldwide, active now through July 21. Those patrons wishing to support the campaign may make a donation by visiting here

A celebration of the many textures, beauty, delicacy, and strength within each human being, Black Velvet - Architectures and Archetypes is an art piece that shares and reflects on the colorfulness of blackness - especially in regard to black women - in a relationship of love, compassion and camaraderie.

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Shamel Pitts reflects that "this work researches and shares the sensibility of ideals, models and textures as a projection of 'self'. The dealing within these structures of systems is to discover what is inside of us, between us and around us. To hopefully bridge the distances so that we can see and meet each other. Some systems must be broken, re-imagined, in order to reconstruct."

In January 2018, Black Velvet - Architectures and Archetypes will be presented during a five-show run at the 14th St Y Theater between January 11th - 14th.

In 2017, Black Velvet - Architectures and Archetypes will be presented in the following cities:

Berlin on August 10 & 11 (Dock 11)

Stockholm on September 6 & 7 (Nordic Fringe Festival)

São Paulo on September 30 and October 1 (TBD)

Rio de Janeiro (TBD) and Jerusalem from December 6 - 10 (Jerusalem Dance Festival), among other cities that will be announced throughout the year.

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A trailer for the Black Velvet - Architectures and Archetypes live production can be seen by clicking here

The impetus for Black Velvet - Architectures and Archetypes began when Pitts and Martins meet each other on 2013 in New York City. 

Martins was participating in her first Gaga/dancers Summer Intensive course while Pitts was the teacher. After knowing each other better in conversations and several emails, Pitts and Martins discovered many similarities in their artistic interests and established an art partnership in 2014. In 2015, Pitts went to Brazil for the first time teaching Gaga classes and to perform BLACK BOX - The Little Black Book of Red. In 2016, Pitts spearheaded an art residency for two months in São Paulo to create with Martins the art performance show BLACK VELVET - Architectures and Archetypes.

BLACK VELVET - Architectures and Archetypes is the second original production by Pitts, following BLACK BOX - The Little Black Book of Red, which was released in 2016 with lighting artist Tom Love.

To donate to the BLACK VELVET - Architectures and Archetypes KickStarter campaign, click here. For more more information about BLACK VELVET - Architectures and Archetypes, click here

About Shamel Pitts

Shamel Pitts is a performance artist, dancer, spoken word artist, and a teacher. Born In Brooklyn, NY, Shamel began his dance training at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and The Performing Arts. Simultaneously, he trained at The Ailey School (Official School of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater). Shamel received his BFA from The Juilliard School and was awarded The Martha Hill Award for Excellence in Dance. Upon graduating, He joined and performed with Mikhail Baryshnikov's Hell's Kitchen Dance. Shamel later moved to Montreal to dance with BJM Danse (Formerly known as Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal). Later, he moved to Tel Aviv to join Batsheva Dance Company under the artistic direction of Ohad Naharin. Currently based in Tel Aviv, Shamel has been a collaborator for many artists including Alex Apt, Bobbi Jene Smith, Tom Love and Billy Barry. He has been a pivotal figure in the city and nightlife events of the city of Tel Aviv. Shamel is a teacher of "Gaga", the movement language created by Ohad Naharin.

About Mirelle Martins

Born on April 17th, 1984, Brazilian dancer and performance artist now living in New York City. Born in Goiânia-GO, Brazil with a Bachelor in Social Communication at Universidade de Brasília (2006), Martins created works as independent curator and executive producer in diverse art projects since 2010, including a research project on dance and performance in 2013. Martins has projects exhibited at SP-Arte (2016), Sesc-SP (2015), Museu da Lingua Portuguesa (2015) among other locations. Martins producer and translator of GAGA.people.dancers movement language in Brazil since 2015. On 2016, Martins began a dance creation partnership with Shamel Pitts, African American dancer. In 2017, Martins moved to NYC to be a dance apprentice at Sidra Bell Dance New York.