Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group: The Tale: Npinee Nckutchie and the Tail of the Golden Dek
Mar 15–17, 2007, 12 am–11:59 pm
Thursday, March 15, 7:30 pm – First Night post-show talk
Tickets $20, MCA members $16, students $10
Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17, 7:30 pm
Tickets $24, MCA members $19, students $10
African tradition meets postmodern artist with a bang… a sense of mystery that is at once as exhilarating as it is unsettling. - Dance Magazine
Rich and intricate rhythms — voices shouting and singing harmonies, feet stepping and hands clapping — connect the secular and the sacred in the MCA-commissioned The Tale: Npinpee Nckutchie and the Tail of the Golden Dek.
Reggie Wilson’s new work draws upon African and Caribbean traditions of dance and vocal harmonies, tracing the historical arc that connects ancient ritual to urban social dance; it integrates African forms with the intricate partnering and movement dialogues of “hand dancing,” Bopping, and the Lindy Hop, as well as the Black Folks traditions of the Big Apple, Black Bottom, and Electric Slide. The work uses aloof partner manipulation and the detached gazes of the Chicago social dance form Stepping — the cool dance with an easy simmer.
The Tale evokes human mating rituals and the subtle dynamics of pushing and pulling, coupling and uncoupling. As Grace Jones sings in La Vie en Rose, “It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it.” Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel makes brilliant new performance from the spiritual traditions of the African Diaspora. Wilson draws on the movement idioms of Blues, Slave, and Worship cultures to create what he calls “Post-African Neo Hoodoo Modern dance.” Accompanied by their own driving rhythms — body percussion, aspirated breath, singing and shouts — Fist & Heel blends deep ritual into potent, beautiful and energizing contemporary dance.
ARTISTS UP CLOSE
Chicago Moves: Race, Steppin’, and Neo-HooDoo Modern Dance
Tuesday, March 13, 6-7:30 pm
Co-presented with and hosted at Little Black Pearl (1060 East 47th St)
Reggie Wilson shows the personal dance style he has developed from the languages of the blues, slave, and spiritual cultures of Africans in the Americas. People are encouraged to demonstrate their own dance styles in this sharing and conversation about cultural and social Chicago.
First Night Postshow Talk
Thursday, March 15
Reggie Wilson and other performers engage the audience in conversation following the performance.
Roundtable: Lindy Hopping, Steppin’, Vogueing: Black Social Dance Now
Saturday, March 17, 2-4 pm
Co-presented with Chicago Dancemakers Forum at the MCA’s Kanter Meeting Center
New dance forms are appearing on the stage and screen based on subversive Black social dance traditions. Is the subculture threatened by the mainstream? What is the racial stratification in social dancing, between the Lindy Hop and Steppin’ in Chicago? Join dance makers Reggie Wilson and Darrell Jones (Chicago) and sociologist Blackhawk Hancock (DePaul University) for this powerful exchange about the history of Black social dance, and their subversive dynamics in relation to race, culture, and the body.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Tale is a co-commissioning project by the Museum of Contemporary Art in partnership with Dance Theater Workshop, On the Boards, Myrna Loy Center/Helena Presents, and the National Performance Network Creation Fund. The Creation Fund is sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Altria Group, Inc.
This project is supported in part by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Ford Foundation.