September 12th, 2011 | by JULIE POTTER Arts & Books | Posted In: Dance

TBA Diary: TBA Institute Class with Abraham.In.Motion

abraham.in.motionPhoto by Madeline Blount Courtesy of Portland Institute for Contemporary Art
Masters of extreme control and fearless abandon, Abraham.In.Motion’s dancers seem to spare no energy performing The Radio Show at PICA’s Time-Based Arts Festival. How to hone such powerful command of the body and stamina? Sunday morning’s TBA Institute class with Kyle Abraham and his company revealed some clues, combining cool aesthetics and rigor for a sweaty good time. 

Initially gathering participants to share their favorite Portland recommendations, Abraham built a friendly atmosphere with his collective concierge version of an icebreaker. Then the group executed a floor warm-up (including some good old-fashioned push-ups) geared to organize and strengthen the body. The class unfolded as a fast-moving mashup of postmodern movement, incorporating influences from New York teacher Kevin Wynn, Merce Cunningham and, naturally, the swift and luscious language of Abraham’s own body. 

Abraham’s humor and warm smile softened his requests to push one’s body and repeat certain traveling segments for endurance. Intensely musical and nuanced, with room for individual flair, the dance combinations were colored by contagious music selections built for grooving. 

Here’s a peek at Abraham’s playlist:

Distant Lights by Burial

Drum Life by Brandy

Twinkle by Erykah Badu 

Rumor Has It by Adele

Stillness is the Move by Dirty Projectors

SEE IT: Kyle Abraham performs his work-in-development Live! The Realest MC 8:30 pm Tuesday, Sept. 13 at Washington High School, Southeast 14th Avenue and Division Street. PICA’s ninth Time-Based Art festival continues through Sept. 18.

Julie Potter is a dance artist, writer, arts manager and yoga teacher based in San Francisco’s Mission District.

 
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