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IMPRESSIONS: Cabula6/Jeremy Xido

IMPRESSIONS: Cabula6/Jeremy Xido
Trina Mannino/Follow @Trinamannino on Twitter

By Trina Mannino/Follow @Trinamannino on Twitter
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Published on November 20, 2012

The Final Chapter of The Angola Project

The Final Chapter of The Angola Project

IMPRESSIONS: Cabula6/Jeremy Xido
The Angola Project – Part III
Preview Performance: Thursday, November 14, 2012
Dance New Amsterdam
Performed by Jeremy Xido
Created by Igor Dobricic, Claudia Heu and Jeremy Xido

November 20th, 2012

Trina Mannino for The Dance Enthusiast

Jeremy Xido is a passionate individual originally from Detroit, who has spent much of his adult life traveling around the world. He and his collaborators, Igor Dobricic and Claudia Heu, make up Cabula6, and together they have crafted and performed Parts I and II of The Angola Project for several years. Their multidisciplinary performance series shows Xido’s travels through Portugal, Angola and China as he interweaves his personal narrative with “…global events and the complex unexpected mash-up of polycultural identities emerging in the 21st Century.”

Today in a preview performance, Xido performs Part III, the final chapter of The Angola Project, for the first time with a raw, recently written monologue. Teetering on frenetic, he tells us about his 2010 trip to Bamei, China, the monumental event of suffering a heart attack that took place before his trip, and a devastating break-up that followed. Xido’s descriptions are peppered with self-deprecating asides, revealing a vulnerable yet magnetic personality.

Xido prefaces the work by stating it’s very new and that it took a different direction than he and his collaborators originally envisioned. Although he prepares me, I am still surprised at the state of Part III.

Jeremy Xido in The Angola Project; Photo © Lexi Namer

Following his monologue, Xido dons boxing shorts and gear and proceeds to wail on a punching bag for about three minutes while music by Michael Jackson, Blondie and Soft Cell blares. Once the timer featured on one screen signals his time is up, he sits down to rest and inaudibly whispers a stream of stream of consciousness mutterings. This series is repeated several times when then the performance abruptly ends. As the 1980s Wendy’s commercial asks, “Where’s the beef?”

It is quite understandable that heartbreak and a medical scare would change the course of an artist’s vision. However, in this, The Angola Project- Part III, Xido loses the very essence of the whole project, which is his attempt to find connections from his life experiences to cultures and events larger than him. It’s said that art imitates life, but Xido is too talented to not have dug deeper to develop his work beyond displaying a fragile emotional state.

I realize Part III is fresh and that Xido and his collaborators are still investigating the content (The Angola Project was shown as a trilogy for the first time on November 17th). Still, I’m dissatisfied: the former parts were much more engaging and cohesive. Furthermore, Xido is a compelling storyteller, and I’m far hungrier for his quirky anecdotes than I am for self-indulgent, cerebral mumblings.

Jeremy Xido in The Angola Project; Photo © Lexi Namer

Xido’s dramaturge, Igor Dobricic, sheds some light on the rawness of Part III. “The story is lost, and the question is now how do we recover it,” he says in the talk back session following the preview. “For that, you have to go into the cave through the darkness with the hope that on the other side there is Shangri La.”

Luckily for us, and the artists of Cabula6, the project will continue to grow beyond this latest run. The Company has an upcoming residency at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy, New York. Even though the collaborating artists wish to further shape the three parts into one entity, smoothing out the rough edges, they won’t be spending time shaping the piece into a cookie cutter narrative.

Perhaps Dobricic says it best. “[The Angola Project] is about trying to tell a perfect story, failing, then trying again and failing even more.”

Jeremy Xido in The Angola Project; Photo © Lexi Namer



For more information on Cabula6 click here

For more information on The Angola Project click here










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