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IMPRESSIONS: Renegade Performance Group in André M. Zachery's “Untamed Space” at Danspace Project

IMPRESSIONS: Renegade Performance Group in André M. Zachery's “Untamed Space” at Danspace Project
Deirdre Towers/Follow @spiffmoves on Twitter

By Deirdre Towers/Follow @spiffmoves on Twitter
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Published on October 6, 2017
Photo: Ian Douglas

September 30, 2017

Choreographer/Visual Media Designer: Andre M. Zachery

Composer/Sound Artist: Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste

Performers: Kentoria Earle, Candace Thompson, Nehemoyia Young, André M. Zachery

Lighting Designer: Carol Mullins / Costume/Visual Designer: Joy Haven / Dramaturge: Rosamond S. King


Untamed Space, a seventy-minute work commissioned by Danspace Project, suggests a challenge taken by its creator and passed on to the viewers: Is there a place we can go that is free of associations from our past and labels, whether imposed or embraced?

André M. Zachery, choreographer and dancer, has created a sensation, as much as an entrancing, mood-altering spectacle. Projected abstract video designs made by Zachery hypnotize from the get-go with circular rhythm and colored tentacles that scoop us into the interior space. The amorphous score by sound designer Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste has a constancy that overwhelms. In a place, unfamiliar and undefinable as of yet, we are united with gentle souls whose bodies roll, reach, dangle, and arch.

Four bodies dance in a clump. A projection of neon graphic is behind them.

Renegade Performance Group in André M. Zachery's Untamed Space; Photo: Ian Douglas
 
Zachery's dancers (of which he is one) are lovely, though rarely highlighted as individuals. They move as one harmonious organism with a minimalism that compels the audience to reconsider stereotypical expectations of Black dance. 
Renegade Performance Group celebrated its 10th anniversary with Untamed Space, inspired by marooning, an expression used for colonies of “liberated Africans who escaped to hills, mountains, and forests upon their arrival to the Americas in the 17th and 18th centuries.” 
 
The urge to escape from ongoing injustices against Black Americans and our need to find new forms of artistic activism give this project heft.

The Dance Enthusiast Shares IMPRESSIONS / our brand of review and Creates Conversation.
Check out our other IMPRESSIONS here, and our 2015 feature with André M. Zachery.
Share your #AudienceReview of this show or others for a chance to win a prize.

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