The Grace and Madness of Feeling Apr 19, 2012
I walk toward Kyle Abraham's Live! The Realest MC through pillars of the Seattle dance scene on opening night: Wade Madsen, Catherine Cabeen, Karn Junkinsmith, Donald Byrd, Cyrus Khambatta, and more folded in the crowd I imagine ... Lane Czaplinski sips a beer, face half obscured by the bare two-by-four railing as the show nears beginning. Lights glow otherworldly. We enter.
All the moves, all colors are serious as black- and glitter-clad Kyle Abraham assumes stage. Other performers arrive and by movement divest you of whatever notions you brought in, for this is different: line of legs, shoulder rolls are different. They are parts of dance that feel low, essential. They are also right on: music, body, center. If you get the feeling you are looking at yourself on stage it may be because you are their reflection - you, the audience, are the mirror as performers look directly out, intimately, challengingly. This is one person's emotion, but so big that it must be shown by three - no - now five performers.
This is the grace and madness of feeling, the sparkle and dark leaping of imagination - of crimson dreams. This is truth in emotion, testing what dance means for self-esteem by humor, horror. This is more sensitive than you thought to be, and if you are uncomfortable you will find it is in the best way possible.
The second half is OUT in color, bright green, with beats to take meat off the bone. Yet all finishes soft, tough, and slow, like a dream. Form is imprinted on memory, technique unassailable.