Darkly Humorous Quest to Become “Real” Examines Gender Roles and Masculinity in Hip-Hop
“Watched carefully, Abraham’s group choreography displays an intensely naked understanding of humanity; watching Abraham dance alone is deeply moving.”—Boston Globe
Minneapolis, February 26, 2013— Riffing on the Pinocchio fable in a search to become “real,” choreographic chameleon and Bessie Award–winner Kyle Abraham takes a darkly humorous approach to gender roles and masculinity in the black community and the quest for acceptance in the world of hip-hop celebrity. Blending fast and furious contemporary dance with athletic movement derived from the street, this ensemble work ponders the price of conformity and the ways that identity is formed. Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion perform Live! The Realest MC March 14–16, 8 pm, in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater. An eclectic score includes sounds from Pan Sonic, James Blake, Bill Evans, and others.
About Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion
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. The work entwines a sensual and provocative vocabulary with a strong emphasis on sound, human behavior and all things visual in an effort to create an avenue for personal investigation and exposing that on stage. A.I.M. is a representation of dancers from various disciplines and diverse personal backgrounds. Combined together, these individuals create movement that is manipulated and molded into something fresh and unique.
Abraham.In.Motion is a proud supporter of Dancers Responding to AIDS.
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, Pennsylvania. 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 November 2012, Abraham was named the newly appointed New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist for 2012–2014. Just one month later, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater premiered Abraham’s newest work, Another Night at New York’s City Center to rave reviews. Rebecca Bengal of Vogue writes, “What Abraham brings to Ailey is an avant-garde aesthetic, an original and politically minded downtown sensibility that doesn’t distinguish between genres but freely draws on a vocabulary that is as much Merce and Martha as it is Eadweard Muybridge and Michael Jackson.” In 2010, Abraham received a prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show, and 2010 Princess Grace Award for Choreography and 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.” His choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad, most recently at On The Boards, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, REDCAT, Philly Live Arts, Portland’s Time Based Arts Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Bates Dance Festival, Harlem Stage, Fall for Dance Festival at New York’s City Center, Montreal, Germany, Jordan, Ecuador, Dublin’s Project Arts Center, The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum located in Okinawa Japan, The Andy Warhol Museum and The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.
In addition to performing and developing new works for his company, Abraham.In.Motion, Abraham also teaches his unique approach to post-modern dance in various schools and studios throughout the United States and is currently working on a new pas de deux for himself and acclaimed Bessie Award winning dancer and New York City Ballet Principle Wendy Whelan while creating new works for his company A/I/M.
Meet the Artists
Thursday, March 14
Meet the artists after the show a reception in the McGuire Theater’s Balcony Bar
Postshow Q & A
Friday, March 15
Stay after the show for a Q&A with the artists and performing arts curators.
Saturday, March 16
After the performance, head to the Balcony Bar to join a discussion or just listen in as others hash it out. Hosted by local choreographer Blake Nellis and Walker tour guide Ray Terrill.
Master Class with Abraham.In.Motion
Saturday, March 16, 11am-1pm
$10 ($8 Walker members)
William and Nadine McGuire Theater
The class emphasizes four specific core values: exploration, musicality, abandonment, and intuition. The opening warm-up sequence focuses on the fluidity of the spine, articulation, and core body strengthening before building to challenging, creative, and invigorating phrase work. Students experience a personalized postmodern movement vocabulary full of intricate gestures, fearless floor work, and a dynamic range of musical influences through movement. Professional and advanced levels only
Tickets to Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion’s Live! The Realest MC are Thursday, $18 ($15 Walker members); Friday–Saturday, $22 ($18) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Support provided by Producers’ Council members Mike and Elizabeth Sweeny.
Performing Arts Supporters
The Walker Art Center’s performing arts programs are made possible by generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through the Doris Duke Performing Arts Fund, the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Performing Arts programs and commissions at the Walker are generously supported by members of the Producers’ Council: Russell Cowles; Sage Cowles; Nor Hall and Roger Hale; King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson Pillsbury and Henry Pillsbury; Emily Maltz; Dr. William W. and Nadine M. McGuire; Leni and David Moore, Jr.; Josine Peters; Mike and Elizabeth Sweeney; and Frances and Frank Wilkinson