Friday, July 20, 2012

Live! The Realest MC

Kyle Abraham and his company Abraham.In.Motion presented Live! The Realest MC at the Bates Dance Festival on Thursday evening. The above black and white picture is a great representation for the severity of the content that Mr. Abraham deals with. The evening length dance is a serious look at gender roles and norms that lead to bullying, nonacceptance and hatred.  And while the topic is severe this dance is beautiful, poignant, and important.

Abraham created a portrait of a man trying to fit in. He is different. He stands out. Even though he tries to be like the others in the group he isn't. The dance began with Abraham on the floor struggling to move. His hands and feet appeared to be crippled and distorted. He slowly stood and began to walk. The other dancers entered and they are street smart and urban. They moved with speed, power and style. The contrast was laid out at the start, the cool versus the underdog who barely stands a chance. The dance offered many scenes that depicted the ongoing separateness. The movement was subtle combining hip hop with contemporary. In one critical scene Abraham speaks and relives an encounter he had as a young boy. He is being taunted and he says "I didn't doing anything, we were holding hands" and then he cries and keeps repeating "they held me down, they held me down."

The soundtrack, costumes, set and lighting help set the mood. The soundtrack is mostly not music, it's industrial and noise, and it's dissonant and evokes what you hear in the city. The costumes all have sequins whether they are black athletic jackets and sweatpants, or shorts and tops. There was a wonderful backdrop made of sleek strips of fabric that extended from floor to ceiling. They changed colors and were used as a video screen as well, very striking. The lighting design by Dan Scully was gorgeous. And the very important prop used near the end of the dance was a microphone and stand that was placed onstage that the dancers approached and retreated from. No sound was heard from the mic. But they tested out their bravado at it. MC stands for both master of ceremonies and mic controller and is one of the four essential parts of Hip Hop. Live! The Realest MC ends with Abraham the downtrodden figure alone at the mic, his back turned, but he's got the spotlight.


Danced by- Brittanie Brown, Rena Butler, Chalvar Monterio, Rachelle Rafaiedes, Addison Sanford, Maleek Washington and Mr. Abraham.

Abraham.In.Motion at the Bates Dance Festival. Thursday July 19, 2012 in Lewiston, Maine

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