November Dance Calendar
CHARMAINE PATRICIA WARREN Special to AmNews | 11/1/2012, 12:11 p.m.
This month of dance is full, but this weekend, Nov. 1-3, dance comes from Pittsburg to Harlem and from Brazil to Brooklyn in only three days. In Harlem at Harlem Stage, Kyle Abraham brings the premiere of "Pavement," and in Brooklyn at BAM, Brazil's Grupo Corpo returns with two premieres, "Im" and "Sem Mim."
Indeed a young maverick in the world of dance, Kyle Abraham of Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion brings his newest work, "Pavement" directly to Harlem's gatehouse at Harlem Stage. Says Abraham, "The good thing about this work being presented at Harlem Stage is that it's a work about community, and Harlem Stage sits more deeply embedded in an actual community than any other venue in NYC. I've had a long-standing relationship with Harlem Stage beginning in 2004, and since then, my work has been presented there several times and received funding on numerous occasions for varied projects."
For "Pavement," Abraham draws his inspiration from John Singleton's 1991 film "Boyz 'N the Hood" and W.E.B. Du Bois' classic essay "The Souls of Black Folk," and layers that with an operatic score comprised mostly by Handel's "Carestini" (the story of a castrato) and the gun-laden sounds of an urban landscape. Abraham insists, "This is a work deeply connected to community and the state of community and a place where history connects with community. Addressing things like gang violence and genocide are new territory for me, as is working with so many men. I've never worked so closely with more than two male dancers in my company before. But this is a work that called for that energy and that discovery in a process. It's been one of the best experiences, if not the best experience, I've ever had making a dance work."
The cast of 12 dancers/collaborators includes Abraham, Matthew Baker, Charlotte Brathwaite, Chalvar Monteiro, Jeremy Neal, Dan Scully, Maleek Washington, Alexandra Wells, Eric Williams, Sam Crawford, Maritza Mosquera and Rena Butler. About Butler, Abraham offers, "I wanted a cast that was diverse in its movement sensibilities but that I felt could connect with the subject matter. The sole woman figure, or in the case of Rena, the soul woman figure [he laughs], came about from looking closer at the film at who the catalysts were for me. More to that, most gang scenes in the film included one woman among a group of men--one scene in particular highlights this with two rival groups and their one stand-alone ride-or-die sista."
Audiences can expect Abraham's visceral mingling of modern dance sensibilities with street cool, funk and truth when the dancers tell the many stories of the "hood" through dance. Individually, the dancers are exemplary technicians in their iterations of Abraham's vision. This is a must-see event! For more information, visit www.harlemstage.org or call 212-281-9240.
Known as Brazil's leading contemporary dance troupe, Grupo Corpo and choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras returns to BAM with the premieres of "Im" (which means magnet in Portuguese), and "Sem Mim" (without me). For Pederneiras, it is the "principles of interdependence and complementarity that govern human relationships" that serve as the creative point of departure for "Im," which is set to a score by the Brazilian trio +2. For "Sem Mim," with an original score by Carlos Nunez, a traditional Galician bagpipe player, and Jose Miguel Wisnik, Pederneiras' inspiration is "the 13th-century Galician-Portuguese song cycle 'Sea of Vigo,' by Martin Codax, whose lyrics reveal the voices of maidens weeping in the absence of their lovers from the coastal town of Vigo in western Spain." Both works promise to showcase the "dancers' virtuosity and Pederneiras' masterly fusion of ballet, modern, ballroom and Afro-Brazilian dance idioms."