American Dance Guild, Joniece Boykins, Photo: Alexander Bryant
American Dance Guild, Joniece Boykins, Photo: Alexander Bryant
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Taino Reign plus Emotions Physical Theatre's concert

Taino Reign plus Emotions Physical Theatre's concert

IndoRican Multicultural Dance Theatre and Emotions Physical Theatre
March 13th, 2015

Have you ever seen this company/ before?
Tell us a bit about your history with this group/performer?

I'd never seen either companies. I picked the night cause I met Shawn Rawls the director of Emotions Phyical Theatre and he told me there would be some bboy dancing in his pieces. I'm a bboy so I thought that was cool.

 

What was your favorite moment(s)? What inspired you?

The first piece was called Taino Reign and it had this dance theatre drama thing going on. The dancers were really into what they were doing so it felt like a silent movie. The part I liked best was when one of the dancers came on as a slave and tried to get one of the other dancers to free her. Watching them connect was sad and cool. The group I came to see had this rope piece that was really awesome. They had this moment where this girl was tied up and then being held up in the air by the other dancers with the rope. It was killer. And the lighting was cool- not too dark but really smokey and mysterious.

 

Describe as plainly and specifically as you can what actually happened during this performance.
We are looking for non-judgmental reporting. No need for complete sentences. Phrases and word lists are fine. YOU CAN DESCRIBE : the artists, their activities, the movement, the qualities of movement, the music, the use of time, the use of space OR anything else you observed.

So the first piece was about the Taino people and how they met engaged the spanish who came over from Europe. The piece began with a voice over that talked about how the Taino came from out of the earth and then spread across the lands. They showed that with this fabric tub thing with dancers being born out of it and then sort of becoming animals or early prehistoric men and then evolving into a more formal society with rules and customs. That makes it sound boring but it was really gnarly. All of the dancers had really strong personalities and characters. The best was this cute girl who kept playing around with everyone and then these two girls who kept fighting to be in charge. It was a lot of fun. The second concert had three different pieces. The first was like a card game with sexy girls and cheating and fighting and crazy dancing. The second piece was the rope piece where this guy and this girl were tied up by others who were trying to control them but at the end they ended up being tied together and trying to control each other back and forth. It was like there was a transfer of what other people were saying to them got in between their relationship. The final piece the guy who was in charge, Shawn, explained that the piece was about his wife's experience with paperwork while they were dealing with her cancert treatment. It was really funny. It was like being in hell and tortured by people who kept repeating the same thing over and over again but more exagerated- the piece would start and then black out and then repeat when the lights came up again but it kept getting crazier and crazier. Really awesome.

 

Do any images, colors or feelings pop into your head when you think about this show?

Yeah. I keep thinking about the slave who was tied up with rope. That's a really strong and blunt image that I can't get out of my head and then in the other company they had a rope piece too. But it wasn't cheesy or like a porno. It was really good without being too obvious. I know that sounds dumb to say, 'that it wasn't too obvious' but if you see somene tied up or bound it does something to you inside and I like that the two companies didn't take the easy way out with it. They really explored it without making it this preachy thing.

 

Describe any or all of these elements: music, lighting, the venue.
How did they contribute (or not) to your enjoyment of this performance?

The venue was a black box which made the lighting really clear and strong. I liked the design and flow of things. It wasn't too over done. It felt just right and cool for telling the story. I don't like it when the lighting is more powerful or noticeable than the dance. The music choices were great though I think the editing for the second company's rope piece could have been tighter. Sometimes the music just stopped and it felt abrupt. Not really flowing into the next part. Like they had these great blackouts but then the music would stop and I didn't know if the piece was over and it wasn't. So that could have been better.

 

Would you like to see this performance / company again?
Would you recommend it to a friend? Why or why not?

Yeah. I would totally see both companies again. The first company really surprised me. I wasn't expecting to see and kind of didn't want to have to wait to see Shawn's work, but I'm glad I did. It was also cool how both companies were completely different except that they both used rope in very important ways for the their dances but in completely different ways too.

 

What would you like to have seen more of? Less of?

I think it was the perfect amount, honestly. Maybe the first company's piece could have been shorter but I don't know how. Like it felt good. Shawn's pieces were perfect because they were so different but I do think the rope piece needs better connecting moments so it doens't feel like the flow has stopped dead.

 

If you could, what would you ask the choreographer / dancers?

I'd ask the first choreographer how she got the fight to look so real. Those girls were really trying to kill each other. It was freaking awesome! Like a cage match. And I'd ask the girl in the second company's rope piece if she got rope burn from being held up by in the air. Also I want to know how the Chinese guy did the magic trick in the card piece.

 

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