Friday, May 9, 2008

The New SNIC

     Shani Nwando Ikerioha Collins (hereafter SNIC) may be an emerging artist, but she's about to be established.  The choreography she presented at Dance Theater Workshop in "Lullen in a New Plantation Economy" and "Don't Live Here Go" was fresh and engaging.
"Lullen," the first piece, had brilliant costumes which evoked both early and modern clothing.  The movement was engaging; the running of people who may have been slaves in the 18th or 19th centuries lead into the running of a man in a suit and tie who is a slave to contemporary capitalism and corporate culture.
"Don't Live Here Go" was slower and more physically static.  It portrayed a women's ritual of induction or cleansing.  After SNIC had been bathed by the other women, her fear and anguish eventually transformed into all of them roaring with laughter.  The two pieces actually worked well together, partly because the dancers changed the set over while singing and dancing, creating a seamless transition.
Part of SNIC's project is to merge African and modern dance, and the two styles smoothly flowed into each other.  My only significant critique of her work is that while the choreography is quite good, the styles tend to announce themselves, as in Now We Are Performing African Dance and Now We Are Performing Modern Dance.  Jujustring thinks that when SNIC can fuse these styles more completely her work will be masterful and even more exciting.  We look forward to seeing what follows.

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