A.I.M by Kyle Abraham: Live! The Realest MC

One of the top names in American modern dance, Kyle Abraham weaves together ingredients from hip hop culture and his multi-artistic background to combine the movements of high-energy modern and street dance. Created before the praised work Pavement (2012), which was inspired by the film Boyz n the Hood, Live! The Realest MC (2011) is loosely based on the story of Pinocchio and what it means to be a real boy – or man.

A product of Abraham’s personal experiences, Live! The Realest MC takes a look at the challenges of building an identity and gender roles within the African-American community. The work employs documentary video and an industrial soundscape woven from the electronic music of, for example, James Blake and Mika Vainio, and moves between delicate minimalism to threateningly dark tones, and not without a bit of humour.

A native of Pittsburgh, Kyle Abraham (b. 1977) has lately had his works included in the programmes of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and The Joyce Theater, as well as performed with New York City Ballet’s Wendy Whelan as part of the work Restless Creature, also recorded as a documentary film with the same title. Arriving in Finland for the first time, the Abraham.In.Motion dance group has performed outside the United States in, for example, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm and Dublin.

“Abraham is a master at infusing dark tragedy with hysterical comedy. In “Live! The Realest MC,” he created a powerful depiction of what it means to be “real” in a world where acceptance may still be hard to come by.”
– John Altdorfer, Pittsburgh Examiner

“It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a group of virtuoso dancers look as natural, as human, as Abraham’s company…Abraham’s dancers are as strong as they are soft—as threatening, sometimes, as they are threatened. You can almost feel their bodies against you, feel their flesh, and how it could be wounded.
– Joan Acocella, The New Yorker

Choreography: Kyle Abraham in collaboration with A.I.M
Performers: Matthew Baker, Kayla Farrish, Tamisha Guy, Claude “CJ” Johnson, Catherine Ellis Kirk, Marcella Lewis & Jeremy “Jae” Neal
Costume design: Kyle Abraham & Kristi Wood, assistance by Maribeth Maxa and Perry Mansfield’s staff
Editing Advisor: Alexandra Wells
Filmmaker: Carrie Schneider
Lighting Design: Dan Scully
Music: Kyle Abraham, Alva Noto, James Blake, Mariah Carey, Bill Evans, Ben Frost, Mika Vainio, Pan Sonic ja Slick Rick,  editing Herman “soy sos” Pearl

Artist meeting after the 24.8. performance at Almihall. The discussion is hosted by Sara Hirn.

Photos: Steven Schreiber

Finnish National Opera, Almi Hall

Helsinginkatu 58

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