Kyle Abraham. White Bird

Kyle Abraham dances about race

Abraham.In.Motion arrives with a searching dance exploration of race in our times

Abraham.In.Motion, the company of choreographer Kyle Abraham, brought an intense, three-part program to Lincoln Hall this weekend, one that confidently and gracefully engaged both historical and very immediate issues of race and the individual’s place in this culture. Abraham’s background fuses hip-hop and contemporary and traditional dance, and the company collaborates on both choreographic and structural decisions to benefit from the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of its dancers. The three pieces explore motifs of institutional racism, protest and the perils of being an individual body in a world that can be either openly or insidiously oppressive.

The Times’s Gia Kourlas has criticized Abraham for not being “fully formed enough as a choreographer” to tackle the “timely—and, for a dance a huge subject” of racial injustice, citing her impression of the work as sketchy and repetitive at points. My impression was that Abraham and his dancers were choosing angles on this topic and were knowingly driving their point home with a variety of takes on repeated themes. Repetition, when it comes to racial awareness and protest in the US, appears to be absolutely necessary. In 2016 the repetitive acts of oppression and violence at hand show no signs of stopping on their own. And yes, the subject is too huge to cover entirely on stage in one evening—or a million evenings.

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