Sadler’s Wells Debut offers a chance to discover the work of choreographers new to the Sadler’s Wells stage, highlighting rising artists on the international dance scene with a special ticket price and a free post-show talk.
This season introduces New York-based dancer and choreographer Kyle Abraham and his company Abraham.In.Motion, with a performance of Abraham’s seminal work, Pavement at Sadler’s Wells on Friday 17 & Saturday 18 November.
Pavement is set in a culture plagued by discrimination and genocide in Pittsburgh’s historically black neighbourhoods. Performed with seven dancers in Abraham’s trademark interdisciplinary style, which Abraham typically refers to as a ‘post-modern gumbo’, combining balletic and hip-hop movements, the work is set to an eclectic mix of Bach, Benjamin Britten, Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway and extracts from operas all mixed with sounds of the city to bring this powerful dance to life.
Pavement, created in 2011, is inspired by the writings of American civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois, Abraham’s own childhood in the early 90s growing up in Hill District of Pittsburgh and the 1991John Singleton film, Boyz N The Hood, a film that, for Abraham, depicted an idealised “Gangsta Boheme” laying aim to the state of the Black American male at the end of the 20th century.
20 years later and more than 10 years into the 21st century, Abraham wanted to investigate the state of Black America and a history therein. Pavement, expresses changes taking place in Pittsburgh’s black neighbourhoods, looking primarily at Homewood and the Hill District. Both experienced a cultural shift in the 1950’s when jazz legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington performed at local theatres. Half a century later, those same theatres are dilapidated and the streets that once flourished on family run businesses and a thriving jazz scene, now show the sad effects of gang violence and crack cocaine.
Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in co-operation with the New England Foundation for the Arts through the National Dance Project.
Major support for NDP is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation.
Free post-show talk: Friday 17 November
Age guidance: 7+
SADLER’S WELLS DEBUT
Kyle Abraham / Abraham.In.Motion
Sadler’s Wells, EC1R 4TN
Friday 17 & Saturday 18 November