The company A.I.M by Kyle Abraham – led by Abraham, a visionary and sought-out choreographer – makes its Celebrity Series debut this season. Galvanized by Black culture and history, Abraham’s works for his company are developed alongside a wide range of collaborators and reflect both society today and aspirational social changes. Abraham says of his work, “as an artist born in the late 1970s, I’ve experienced a change in society that brings me hope. My choreography reflects that hope, but also lives in the reality of my experiences and the cultural work that still needs to be done.”
Abraham’s Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth, a work that Celebrity Series is proud to have co-commissioned, is a timely rethinking of death rituals and the power of rebirth. In African diasporic traditions, the expiration of human life is not a cause for sorrow, rather a rite of passage to the supernatural. Through personal catharsis, visionary choreographer and MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham delivers this universal and urgent dance between the vulnerability of human life and the divine possibilities of the beyond.
The score, by electronic musician, composer, and producer Jlin, transforms and refracts elements of Mozart's Requiem in D minor. Her evocative soundscape, with many moods and rhythms, pairs with Abraham's "gumbo" of choreographic styles and inspirations, from contemporary ballet to hip-hop, for this thought-provoking reflection on rituals of passing and rebirth.
Timeless white costumes created by fashion innovator Giles Deacon illuminate an other-worldly cast and conjure images of the Orishas. The masterful staging and lighting design by Dan Scully colorfully reflect the evolving realities of life transition – from regal to raw, pain to joy -- in this distinctly Afro-futuristic requiem.
Co-Commissioned by Lincoln Center for the performing Arts, Stanford Live, UMS, Celebrity Series of Boston, and Kampnagel Internationale Kulturfabrik GmbH (Hamburg, Germany.)
Please note: There is no late seating for this performance.
Please be aware: This production contains light use of theatrical haze.
“ a stunning and abstracted rewiring of mythology, folklore, and Afrofuturism”Rebecca Bengal, on "Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth" Vanity Fair
“What Abraham brings … is an avant-garde aesthetic, an original and politically minded downtown sensibility that doesn’t distinguish between genres but freely draws on a vocabulary that is as much Merce and Martha as it is Eadweard Muybridge and Michael Jackson.”Vogue