“Abraham is something of an emotional chameleon. His stage persona often appears as a street-smart dude who sports a tough armor, but we recognize it to be a shield for vulnerability. Frequently he or his dancers burst unexpectedly from near-stupors into storms of turns or jumps, as if no longer able to stay coiled within. Watched carefully, Abraham’s group choreography displays an intensely naked understanding of humanity; watching Abraham dance alone is deeply moving.”
—Janine Parker, The Boston Globe
Live! The Realest MC is a work inspired by both the story of Pinocchio and an early solo work of mine, Inventing Pookie Jenkins. The similarity in these characters lay in their quest for acceptance. For one, it’s a quest to become a “real boy” for the other, it’s a quest for “realness.” Reimagined in an evening-length ensemble work that investigates gender roles within my community, this story took on a deeper dive when faced with the 2010 media headlines surrounding the untimely death of college student Tyler Clementi and 13-year-old Ryan Halligan in 2003. I began to think about a time in my life when I prayed that I could go unnoticed. Hoping that if I get my voice to sound like the other male students around me, I wouldn’t be found out. I just wanted to be a robot… a puppet… but maybe without the lederhosen.
The mission of Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion is to create an evocative interdisciplinary body of work. Born into hip hop culture in the late 70’s and grounded in Abraham’s artistic upbringing in classical cello, piano, and the visual arts, the goal of the movement is to delve into identity in relation to a personal history. The work entwines a sensual and provocative vocabulary with a strong emphasis on sound, human behavior and all things visual in an effort to create an avenue for personal investigation and exposing that on stage. A.I.M is a representation of dancers from various disciplines and diverse personal backgrounds. Combined together, these individualities create movement that is manipulated and molded into something fresh and unique.