About the company
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 individualities create movement that is manipulated and molded into something fresh and unique.
photo credit: Carrie Schneider
Shows and venues
ABSENT MATTER//THE GETTIN'//THE QUIET DANCE
Chapman Music Hall, Tulsa, OK
ABSENT MATTER//THE GETTIN'//THE QUIET DANCE
International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, CT
June 22-July 1
DEAREST HOME RESIDENCY
Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hanover, NH
EXCERPTS OF DEAREST HOME//THE QUIET DANCE//ABSENT MATTER
Interlochen Center for the Arts, Interlochen, MI
Laguna Dance Festival, Laguna Beach, CA
Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY
photo credit: Tim Barden
photo by Steven Schreiber
ABSENT MATTER explores the perceived posthumous grandeur of death and violence in urban communities throughout the US through sound and movement, tracing the racial epithets in songs of Grief, Love, and Death by artists ranging from Notorious B.I.G and Tupac to contemporary rap artists like Kendrick Lamar and Drake. The work explores hip-hop’s lineage to create an abstracted dialogue about race in America through the lens of those who feel unacknowledged or without value.
THE WATERSHED, an evening-length work for nine dancers, is a commanding and provocative cross-cultural exploration of freedom. Featuring Abraham’s signature style of mellifluous fluidity juxtaposed with sharp accents, The Watershed follows the universal aspiration toward freedom and simultaneously references the emancipation following the Civil War, the political tumult of 1960s and the civil rights challenges of our present day. The work features arresting scenic design by world-renowned visual artist Glenn Ligon and a score ranging from a contemporary cello suite to the soulful sounds of Otis Redding.
WHEN THE WOLVES CAME IN, a stand-alone repertory-based program, explores the historical legacy of two totemic triumphs in the international history of civil rights: the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 20th anniversary of the abolishment of apartheid in South Africa. The works take their inspiration from Max Roach’s iconic 1960 protest album We Insist: Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, which celebrated the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation and shed a powerful light on the growing civil rights movements in South Africa and the U.S. The potent themes inherent in these historical milestones are evident in Abraham’s choreography, evocative scenery by visual artist Glenn Ligon, the visceral power of Roach’s masterwork and original compositions of Grammy® Award-winning jazz musician Robert Glasper.
PAVEMENT, a reimagining of Boyz N The Hood set in Pittsburgh’s historically black neighborhoods, Homewood and the Hill District, pays comedic homage to the bold Kris Kross/backward jean and high top fade era in Hip-Hop, while creating a strong emotional chronology of a culture conflicted with a history plagued by discrimination, genocide, and a constant quest for a lottery ticket weighted in freedom.
THE QUIET DANCE, Subtly and what goes unsaid are what lie at the heart of this 12 minute quintet. Set to Bill Evans' interpretation of the Bernstein classic, Some Other Time, The Quiet Dance made its world premiere at The Joyce Theater as part of Gotham Arts Festival, June 2011.
Inspired by Pinocchio’s plight to be a “real boy,” this new ensemble dance work investigates gender roles in the black community and the quest for acceptance in the world of hip-hop celebrity. Live! The Realest MC, an evolution of previous solo work, Inventing Pookie Jenkins, references our own humanity in this digital age, creating an abstracted emotional and humorously dark narrative that places the iconic childhood character in an industrial dystopia.
The Radio Show
2010 New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award recipient
The Radio Show creates an abstract narrative around the loss of communication, investigating the effects of the abrupt discontinuation of a radio station on a community and the lingering effects of Alzheimer's and aphasia on a family.
Broken up into various shorter works that blend my fondest memories of driving with my family and listening to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s radio station Hot 106.7FM WAMO and its sister station AM 860. On September 8, 2009, WAMO, the only urban radio station in Pittsburgh sadly, went off-air.
With the recent turmoil surrounding the death of 16 year old Derrion Albert in Chicago discussed over the airwaves of radio stations around the world, I wondered how aware listeners were to the goings on in other urban communities around the country now that its voice had been taken away.
Without Black Radio, where is the audible voice of the black community? Radio was so prevalent during times of strife in the past. Where is its place today? Is radio fading away? Are we still listening?
Reinterpreting those questions into the context of my father’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s ten years ago and his more recent aphasia-afflicted conditions where these losses of voice find a common thread.