Devoted to reinterpreting the movement languages of Africa and the Diaspora through a postmodern lens, Reggie Wilson creates fluid, grounded, and deeply expressive dances. Wilson and his Brooklyn-based company Fist & Heel Performance Group make their BAM debut with The Good Dance - dakar/brooklyn, a work representing the fruits of a collaboration with choreographer Andréya Ouamba and his Compagnie 1er Temps from Dakar, Senegal.
Combining Wilson's formalist approach with Ouamba's more improvisational style, the artists create a unique movement vocabulary as they draw from their families' roots in the Mississippi Delta and the Congo to ask profound questions about migration and identity. Featuring an amalgam of African and African American music, movement, text, and vocals,The Good Dance explores the genealogy of culture to consider the influence-real and metaphorical-of Central African culture on world performance forms.
"Because he's African-American, people often assume that his interest in Africa is a search for roots. It isn't—or it isn't only that. "I studied Graham, Cunningham, Pilates," he says, over tea in his Prospect Heights apartment. "You think you've got it covered, how the body moves. But you go to an African village, and all the old women can raise one eyebrow and switch it to the other side, and move one ear around their heads twice. The body can't do that, you think, but they can do it. There's a genius within Africa for creating movement and structures to give it meaning." That's what Wilson is after." (full article)
The Good Dance is funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project (NDP), with generous support by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and NYC Council member Letitia James.
The Good Dance is commissioned by MANCC, UCLA live, 651 Arts, BAM Walker Art Center, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, Caldera with the generous support of the Paul G. Allen Foundation, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.