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AUDIENCE REVIEW: Is Dancing Terrorism? Andre Zachary's "The Inscription Project" at FLICfest 2015
Renegade Performance Group
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Is Dancing Terrorism? This is the question posed mid-way through Saturday night's performance of The Inscription Project, the first work presented under Renegade Performance Group's AFROFUTURISM series. The fifty-minute work is an abstract exploration on the creation of graffiti art in urban environments and its political implications. Inspired by Andre Zachary's study of the work and philosophy of the late artist Rammellzee, I remember the work best as a collection of non-narrative images brought together by that question, Is Dancing Terrorism?
There is Sarah Chien wearing two hoodies zipped together moving her torso back and forth in a spiral, swinging multiple arms. She reminded me of all the majestic, larger than life graffiti murals I have ever seen on the side of a building, and then thought to myself how the artist(s) must have had multiple arms to complete that work.
There is Nehemoyia Young running away from a projected photo of armed police in Ferguson with the text "Blue Lives Matter" across their bodies. Suddenly the imaginary spray from the can was not paint, but tear gas to spray down black protestors.
There were the many moments the dancers just stopped directly front and stared back at the audience - a challenge? A dare.
And of course the mesmerizing physicality of Zachary's physical propulsion technique which he describes in his own words as "three-dimensional, highly physical, acrobatic, momentum-basedfloor work." The dancers dart, roll, tumble, balance inverted and of course, fly with virtuosity that made me want to holler out loud, "Dance y'all!"
I did want the work to be shorter; trimmed so that the audience felt the greatest impact of the movement ideas explored. I think about how I have never seen a graffiti artist at work. Instead, I might walk by a building one day and it has been tagged. I wanted this dance to reflect that - a work masterfully built, quickly, without me even realizing.
A friend asked me afterward, what part of the work do I think lends itself to AFROFUTURISM? For me, the answer lies in the way the work handles gender. We are talking about graffiti, after all.