Kyle Abraham is set to debut his seminal work Pavement at Sadler’s Wells this week.
Pavement is set in a culture plagued by discrimination and genocide in Pittsburgh’s historically black neighbourhoods. Performed with seven dancers in Abraham’s trademark interdisciplinary style, which Abraham typically refers to as a ‘post-modern gumbo’, combining balletic and hip hop movements, the work is set to an eclectic mix of Bach, Benjamin Britten, Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway and extracts from operas all mixed with sounds of the city to bring this powerful dance to life.
Created in 2011, Pavement is inspired by the writings of American civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois, Abraham’s own childhood in the early 90s growing up in Hill District of Pittsburgh and the 1991 John Singleton film, Boyz N The Hood, a film that, for Abraham, depicted an idealised “Gangsta Boheme” laying aim to the state of the Black American male at the end of the 20th century.
20 years later and more than 10 years into the 21st century, Abraham wanted to investigate the state of Black America and a history therein. Pavement, expresses changes taking place in Pittsburgh’s black neighbourhoods, looking primarily at Homewood and the Hill District. Both experienced a cultural shift in the 1950’s when jazz legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington performed at local theatres. Half a century later, those same theatres are dilapidated and the streets that once flourished on family run businesses and a thriving jazz scene, now show the sad effects of gang violence and crack cocaine.
Running Friday 17 & Saturday 18 November 2017
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com