Des Moines Performing Arts recently launched a dance series that will be going on for the next few months downtown at the Civic Center. They kicked it off with Kyle Abraham's Abraham.In.Motion this past Wednesday and let me tell you, it was one captivating show! I was blown away. I thought I would maybe enjoy it a little bit, but I was pleasantly surprised by the weight of the story they were telling.
Before I go any further, watch the promo video below to get an idea of the type of dance this show incorporated. Then read my thoughts....
The official description for Abraham.in.Motion. describes it as being "an evocative interdisciplinary body of work" with the goal being "to delve into identity in relation to a personal history."
But in plain English, I really felt it was about the African American experience in America. Imagery conjuring up Black Lives Matter fluttered across the screen behind the dancers and Beyonce's Lemonade played during the intermission, both helping create an overarching theme to the show. It was complex, arresting, and very moving to me.
I've craved an artistic experience like this for quite awhile, but wasn't sure what I wanted or where to go. But I wanted this show: a combination of bodily movement, music, and imagery that when brought together created something larger and more cosmic than if the works had been produced separately.
Tuesday, March 28th the dance series continues with an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and on Thursday, April 27th it will be Ballet Jazz of Montreal. Each show is unique and unrelated to the previous show, so while Kyle Abraham has left the City already, you do have a chance to see this artistic medium presented in person again.
Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased here. It's hard to explain how moving this production was and I really encourage you to purchase some tickets and experience something wholly original and out-of-the-box. I never thought dance could move me and tell a story, but it did move me and the story continues to resonate.