Brinae Ali will be performing at the Michigan Sociological Association Annual Meeting reception on Friday, October 23, 2015 in the University of Michigan-Flint’s Michigan Rooms from 7-9pm. This reception is free and open to the public, but please RSVP. For more information and to RSVP, visit go.umflint.edu/MSA2015. Read below for a bio provided by the artist.
Alexandria “Brinae Ali” Bradley has an interdisciplinary approach to using the power of the arts to uplift and inspire the human spirit. Through heredity and the mentorship of her father, Alfred Bruce Bradley, Mable Lee, Dianne Walker, and others, Bradley has been studying performing arts since the age of 3.
After all the early exposure of professional shows and opportunities to share the stage with pioneers and legendary artists, Bradley moved to New York to pursue her career. While attending Marymount Manhattan College as a theater major in acting, she was blessed to work and train professionally in Savion Glover’s tap company, Tii Dii.
In 2004, Ali began working on her solo performance showcasing her vocals, compositions, dance, and poetry. She has performed at Ashford and Simpson’s Sugar Bar, Bowery Poetry Club and Joe’s Pub with Reg E Gaines, and at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgina in George Faison’s adaptation of Bubblin’ Brown Sugar, starring Diahnn Carroll. She also performed at Witzigman Palazzo in Hamburg, Germany for 4 months as a solo vocalist and dancer. Ali has recorded vocals singing on Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets children’s album, songs called “Butterfly am I” and “We are One.”
Once back in the U.S., Ali moved to Philadelphia in 2005 to further enhance her solo career while teaching and organizing arts programs. She began managing artists and producing shows through Tapology Tap Festival for Youth which is a family based non-profit organization in Flint, Michigan, and created her own Philadelphia based program called Sound and Movement, LLC, funded by the Art and Change Leeway Foundation Grant.
In 2008, Ali debuted one of her original compositions, Stono Rebellion, a tribute to the Africans who fought for freedom and rebelled against slavery in South Carolina in 1739. She was selected as an evolving choreographer in the Harlem Stage’s E-Moves 9 showcase of professional dancers and choreographers. She also toured Canada and the United States in Roxanne Butterfly’s World Beats: Journey of the Migrating Sole as a dancer and vocalist. She is also an award winning playwright, garnering Best Short Play at the 2011 Downtown Urban Theater Festival for her one woman show called Steps.
As an educator, she has been an adjunct professor teaching tap at Queens College and Long Island University and was honored to be a panelist – along with Germaine Ingram and Dianne Walker- at Columbia University’s as jazz studies lecture series moderated by Jacqui Malone. Ali was also a teaching artist- in- residence at the Carol Morgan School in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
While engaging in philanthropic work within communities in Philadelphia, Ali landed a principle role in the Cotton Club Parade produced by City Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, directed by Warren Carlyle and Wynton Marsalis. Additionally, she was cast as a member of the off-Broadway show STOMP and was a feature tap dancer in Gerri Allen’s Great Women of Jazz at the Apollo, sharing the stage with Dianne Reaves, Lizz Wright, Terri Lynne Carrington, and Tia Fuller. She was the first tap dancer to be invited to the University of Pittsburgh’s 43rd Annual Jazz Concerts and Seminar featuring Ravi Coltrane, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and stellar line up of jazz all-stars. Currently, she serves as a board member for Flint Red Ink Local 432, program director of Beyond Words, and artistic director of Destination Forever, LLC. Her debut album, entitled Destination Forever: Vol.1 , features original compositions created through sounds of tap, song, poetry and was nominated for an Independent Music Award in the Urban EP Category. As a choreographer, Ali was recently commissioned by Harlem Stage for their E-Moves Dance Festival to create a performance piece called Black Matter, in which she used the essence and influence of James Baldwin to articulate the struggles of Black Americans. Through Afro-futuristic performance elements, spirituality, and traditions, this journey of music and expression explored various stigma and social justice issues that exist today. Brinae Ali and a company of dancers and musicians celebrate the innovators and freedom fighters by tapping into a higher consciousness and the part of ourselves that vibrate with the universe, while healing the traumatic experiences of our past.