Last night, Andrew and I, along with the other BIDA members, had the pleasure of witnessing the first half hour of Domineka Reeves’ full-length work Together We Stand, premiering this Saturday, April 22, at Baltimore Theater Project. The work is sophisticated and rich choreographically, personally, and politically. The quartet of young women tackles the experience of being women of color—the struggle, the fear, the support, and empowerment, with choreography that ranged from patient and minimal to complex and multilayered.
The first section, titled “In a world,” mixes brief solos with group work. The dancers exit and enter the space multiple times, as if searching out and testing boundaries. We are reminded of tenderness, femininity, and community. They gather in a group several times and rub their hands against the floor and themselves evoking an almost frantic sense of cleaning/tidying, the washing of skin, the smearing of blackness.
The second section, titled “Fear,” opens with beautiful visuals of the soloist and her body projected onto a backdrop—the politicized body of a black woman in flesh and digital form. The work transitions to more intimate duets shared between the dancers.
The overall pacing is slow and deliberate, with several repeated choreographic motifs to tie the sections together. There is a building sense of tension, energy and possibly anger. We were left waiting for the cathartic exigence which we anticipate will explode in the third section, titled “Support.”
Neka Reeves is a senior dance major at UMBC but her work is as strong as any evening-length dance you might find in the area. She’s a powerful woman with a compelling point of view, full of conviction, and a true artist. I’m so excited by her and I hope you come out and support this emerging voice in the field of dance. With the integration of stunning photography and videography and a gorgeously abstracted score, you will leave the work with an intimate understanding of the world through this young woman’s eyes—a world that is dark, confusing, frustrating, cold, lonely, painful as well as full of light, beauty, support, camaraderie, community, and tenderness.
Co-written by Lynne Price and Andrew Sargus Klein