Dahlak Brathwaite, Try/Step/Trip

Event Type
Event Description

Get a glimpse into a new theater and dance collaboration being developed on the MCA Stage in this sneak peak performance! A chorus of step dancers directed by Roberta Uno exposes writer and poet Dahlak Brathwaite’s personal journey through the criminal justice system, a rite of passage for many young black men, exploring the struggle for vindication in the eyes of the law and society. Music is the mission of Try/Step/Trip, but Brathwaite is the conductor—of his own story, told through dancers who figure as his younger self, a recent college graduate, a fraternity pledge dropout, and resister of labels. In this resonant music and theater experience, the ritual of black fraternity step dance parallels the effort to be recognized for who you are when the system only sees a criminal, with the cycles of freedom and subjugation in black American music as a starting place.

Dahlak Brathwaite is a hip-hop artist whose work was featured on the Tavis Smiley Show and HBO’s Def Poetry Jam after winning the Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam in 2018. Brathwaite has performed with the artist collective iLL-Literacy at over 200 colleges and universities throughout the US and Europe, and was selected as a musician for a US State Department International Exchange fellowship called OneBeat in 2014. Dahlak Brathwaite's Try/Step/Trip is presented as part of the MCA’s New Works Initiative.



Running Time
1 hour, 20 min
Dance Styles
Ballroom / Social Dance
Hip Hop


Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

220 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 397-4010