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Newly awarded MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham’s choreography amplifies dance’s connection to sound, story and the unexpected. A regular collaborator with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Abraham is calling for the re-evaluation of contemporary dance in the United States.
The Radio Show is an elegy to the motown and hip hop played on the only urban-format radio stations in Abraham’s hometown of Pittsburgh, Pa. When they went off the air abruptly in 2009, it was the same time that his father lost his language to Alzheimer’s.
In the sudden silence, Abraham picked up the pieces – the songs, the words, the static – and he made a dance. Revealing the rituals of listening and revelling in the joy of moving to the music, The Radio Show is a welcoming memorial. Arms wide, heart open, it charts both the loss and the renewal of cultural and personal identity.
The mission of Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion is to create an evocative interdisciplinary body of work. Born into hip hop culture in 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 create movement that is manipulated and molded into something fresh and unique.
Kyle Abraham, 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient and 2012 USA Ford Fellow, began his training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. He continued his dance studies in New York, receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In 2010, Abraham was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 To Watch in 2009. In 2011, OUT Magazine labeled Abraham as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama.”
Open to people with various arts backgrounds, as well as those without a dance background.
The focus of the Dance as Identity Series 8:08 Alternative Technique Class is to present dancers with an opportunity to use dance as a platform for generating and exploring dialogue about gender and sexuality. Conversations sway between the social and political, stereotypical and biased, and that which is private and present. Humanities, literature, media, film, history, cultural theory, visual art and philosophy all play a role in the discourse and the most compelling project is considering these culturally identifying relationships with movement. This workshop is first and foremost safe and educational. A vow of confidentiality must be understood and taken seriously.
We said it would be risky. And we meant it. But it will also be welcoming. Consider yourself invited to the preshow event – taking place one hour before showtime in the lobby of the venue – for an artist talk and freshly brewed tea. We’ll provide the programming, as well as the cup and saucer. All you need to bring is yourself.
Terrill Maguire, award-winning choreographer, dancer and arts educator, will host. In association with The Department of Dance, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University.
Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to the opening performance of The Radio Show.
Come talk with us. This is where the artists of World Stage meet with the audience outside their work – through conversation with curated guest hosts. Our talkshow events, which follow the performance, provide unparalleled contact and context.
Kevin A. Ormsby, dancer/choreographer and artistic director of KasheDance, will host.
Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to The Radio Show.
Fleck Dance Theatre
"We need to see more of his work here."
– Toronto Star
"[Abraham] freely draws on a vocabulary that is as much Merce and Martha as it is Eadweard Muybridge and Michael Jackson."
"It’s smart and self-aware, and luscious too: the complete package."
– The New York Times
"How roomy and various is Abraham's way with dance—elastic and electric, luxuriantly rippling, poetically arranged with moments of perfect stillness that arrive amid splashes of expression."
– Dance Magazine
"So life-like, so compelling in the seesaw of human emotion … nothing less than impressive."
– Pittsburgh Post Gazette
"The movement is equally bifurcated, indebted to hip-hop in the looseness of the shoulders and the casual jumps, but delivered with balletic precision."
– The Washington Post
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