MacArthur Genius choreographer Kyle Abraham has brought his work and his dancers back to the Hopkins Center to premiere a new staging of the Hop-commissioned Dearest Home. Last night was the first of two performances; there are but a handful of tickets to tonight's show (Friday) at the Moore Theater.
The performance begins in the lobby with the romance of old typewriters and postcards for sending love letters if you'd like. Upon entering the theater, you'll be provided with a listening device. The production consists of two different and simultaneous performance experiences--one in silence, and the other accompanied by music that was written especially for this work. You can choose which one you prefer. An interesting aside: the dancers themselves have never heard the music that you may choose to hear.
Abraham has said that Dearest Home, with its themes of "love, loss and longing," is a departure from previous works that tackled historic and political issues. The pieces is this performance are intimate, with solo dancers and groups of two or three. There is "gender fluidity", meaning that everyone is drawn into love's portrayal. But this is no candied, lighthearted look at love. Emotion is rich, and full, tentative and complicated, and at times, heartbreaking. Sometimes, love hurts.
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Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge