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It’s smart and self-aware, and luscious too: the complete package.
– New York Times
Kyle Abraham is a self-styled “rave kid” who has become one of the foremost talents in American contemporary dance. The choreography of this MacArthur Genius award-winner is buoyant and irrepressibly sensual, and proudly wears its multitude of signifiers: queer, black, high modernist, popular.
Originally a 2014 World Stage presentation, The Radio Show brought Abraham into new emotional and narrative territory. It is an elegy to the Motown and hip-hop stations that were the soundtrack of Abraham’s youth in Pittsburgh. When these stations abruptly went off the air in 2009, this soundtrack, and the conversation about community that flourished in the gaps between tracks, stopped.
In the sudden silence, Abraham picked up the pieces – the songs, the words, the static – and made a dance. Revealing rituals of listening and the spaces of silence, The Radio Show is a memorial that moves to the music.
The mission of Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion is to create an evocative interdisciplinary body of work. Born into the hip-hop culture of the late 1970s and grounded in Abraham’s artistic upbringing in classical cello, piano, and the visual arts, the goal of the movement is to delve into identity in relation to a personal history. A.I.M. is a representation of dancers from various disciplines and diverse personal backgrounds. Combined together, these individualities spark movement that creates something fresh and unique.
2016 Doris Duke Artist Award Recipient and 2015 City Center Choreography Fellow, Kyle Abraham (Pittsburgh, PA) is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow. Previous awards include being named a 2012 United States Artists Ford Fellow, a Creative Capital Fellow, and receiving a 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award. In 2010, he received a Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show, and a Princess Grace Award for Choreography in 2010.
Kyle Abraham’s virtuosic performance takes community radio as a site of study embodied by cutting-edge dancers. Exploring intergenerational politics and black radio, embodied and cognitive studies of Alzheimer’s and aphasia here also become political investigations in Abraham’s stylized, interdisciplinary, and rich movement vocabularies. Before the opening, join World Stage Scholar-in-Residence VK Preston to address Abraham’s innovative and popular choreographies, inviting complex entanglements of hip-hop and modern dance, politics and memory.
Following this evening’s performance, connect with the artists as they field your questions and discuss the work you’ve just seen. It’s the most direct behind-the-scenes access you can get. Admission is free with the purchase of your ticket.
Hosted by Sean Robertson-Palmer
Sean Robertson-Palmer is an interdisciplinary performer and founding member of the Kadozuke Kollektif, a Toronto-based performance company that has been producing theatre and performance installations since 2005. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Performance Studies at York University, where he focuses on Hip Hop performance, audiences and globalization. Sean’s editorial work and writings on music, culture and fashion can be seen in GQ Magazine.