The BIDA 2nd Annual Showcase was a two day performance of ten different pieces. Each piece was choreographed by a different artist. The showcase was made of different themes and movements, but there were many similarities between the pieces. This was a show of many solos, chairs, and contemporary dance. The audience was very lucky to witness such a rich performance.
Ronderrick Mitchell’s Boy En Vogue
The first thing the audience saw is Mitchell sitting on chair and putting on red shoes that match his fierce red costume. The audio began with a debate between two people and transformed into a melodic soundscape with Hilary Clinton speaking in the background on LGBTQ rights. Mitchell performed a repetitive motif of giving the sign of the cross on his body with two fingers while sitting on the chair. His solo felt like self- discovery with his wavering between quick smooth movements and slow direct reaches with his limbs.
Samantha Hopkins’ Contents May Shift
This duet opens with Hopkins sitting in a chair and Polly Hurlburt lying her head in Hopkins’ lap. Throughout this playful duet, the two dancers found creative ways to lift and share weight with each other. A striking moment was when Hurlburt goes into a handstand and Hopkins grabs her partner’s feet behind her back and over her shoulder. Hopkins leans forward and Hurlburt gets back onto her feet, like a front walkover. The two emote a kind friendship with each other as they support each other in playful ways. A memorable moment was when the two counterbalanced with their necks pressed against each other, and they walked around in a circle in this counterbalance. That is something I definitely wanted to try after seeing this duet! Contents May Shift ends with a surprising lift: Hurlburt sits on Hopkins’ shoulder blades and presses her feet into her back. Hopkins then walks offstage out the door with Hurlburt on her back. This audibly wowed the audience.
Imani Shabazz’s Extra Terrestrial Bodies
This was a duet that was filled with gracious energy flowing through the dancers’ arms and torso that was accompanied with Wassoulou music. This piece felt like a religious offering as the dancers often beckoned their arms upwards. A memorable moment was when the dancers were kneeling facing each other and tapped their stomach, chest, forehead, and then opened their arms in a high release. They repeated this movement in different speeds, which was very satisfying to watch. Shabazz and Tadesse danced with smiles on their faces and kept the high energy flowing throughout Extra Terrestrial Bodies.
Zakari Jaworski’s Scheduled Interruption
This trio begins with three dancers rolling onto the stage. The music that played with this piece changed many times and it dictated the feeling the dancers were portraying. As I watched this piece, I thought about the transformation of television over time and how the dancers were seeming to tell that historic story. The music and movement raged from playful to aggressive to soothing. An exciting moment was when Ledesma climbed onto Jaworski’s back with effort and then drapped his body sideways over Jaworski’s back. Jaworski then held onto Ledesma’s body and spun him around rapidly. This piece had beautiful moments and comical moments, such as the ending of the piece with the dancers replicating the well-known painting “The Creation of Adam”.
Domineka Reeves’ Your Day Will Come
Reeves’ solo began with her running onstage and slowly rubbing her hands on her arms and body. This piece felt very emotional as Reeves performed protective gestures such as covering her head with her hands and caressing her body for comfort. Your Day Will Come encompassed the emotional melody of the same titled music very well and was performed with evident passion.
Madeline Maxine Gorman’s Bitten Tongue
Bitten Tongue is a solo performed by Kayla Clancy. This solo was incredibly energetic and manipulated movement sequences with repetition that was not overdone. Clancy performed beautifully as she was seen repeating a backwards roll and quickly lunging to the pulsing beat of the music. This piece began with Clancy standing in a spotlight and she began to speak, but the sound of gunshot interrupts her and shoves her out of the spotlight. An eye catching moment was when Clancy was ticking and twitching her head and arms very quickly like a malfunctioning robot, but she crumbled to the ground as a human when laughing becomes audible in the sound score. Clancy builds her movement back up to its ferocious quality. The solo ends with Clancy back in the spotlight and finally getting to speak saying “I am not afraid, I am not ashamed, I am strong!” This piece was a great energetic conclusion to the Saturday night show.
Melissa Hudson’s The Weight of Waiting
The Weight of Waiting is a group piece of seven dancers. This piece displayed a gorgeous flow and technique from the dancers. The beauty of the canons and individual solos was the consistent backbone of this piece. This group also worked with chairs and seeing seven of them, used by seven dancers, was so appealing. The dancers moved the backs of their chairs into a small circle and the group moved from chair to chair smoothly. A favorite moment of mine was when one dancer stood on her chair in center stage and slowly leaned her body into a long lateral T. The movement grew from direct with ease to strong and quick as the piece progressed. Another memorable moment was when the dancers had their chairs in a vertical line and one by one they tip toed slowly and carefully down the line of chairs. It reminded me of walking on clouds while they were lifting their arms freely as they stepped from chair to chair. Hudson’s choreography is inspiring and stunning.
Natalie Boegel’s Verguenza
This was a solo performed by Hannah Soares. Soares performed this solo with such power and grace. There is no doubt that she is a powerful dancer and can quickly change movement quality, as this was a theme in Verguenza. Soares spent most of her time swiping her legs and arms on the floor in various movement phrases, but what remained, whether on her knees or standing, was a motif of her right hand creeping around the back of her head and spoking her elbow towards her left knee sharply. The contrast between the smooth movements and the sharp movements were massive and made this solo stimulating.
This was performed by a group of seven dancers. #NineTen was made up of lovely canons and graceful movements. The dancers’ movements made me think of angels. The dancers were lifted and moved their arms in carved shapes through the air. It was clear that these dancers work well together and dance seamlessly as a group.
Torens Johnson’s In My Head
This is a solo performed by Diedre Dawkins. This was an expansive solo that showcased Dawkins’ lovely technique and power. She performed jumps, penches, and high releases, all while dancing on and around a bench. Dawkins performed Johnson’s choreography with a pleasant smile on her face, which made this solo even more exciting to watch.
Overall, the BIDA 2nd Annual Showcase was a success. I am so thrilled with the performances on both days. The performances showcased the Baltimore dance community in all its similarities and differences. The choreography was emotional, comical, graceful, beautiful and powerful. This was such a great opportunity for the audience to see great choreography performed by great dancers. I am definitely looking forward to what the 3rd Annual Showcase will bring.
by Shianne Antoine