Abraham.In.Motion’s work explores Kyle’s diverse training in classical music, visual art, and a multitude of dance forms from ballet to hip-hop to give range and depth to his sleek, evocative work. Dance Magazine named him one of the “25 to Watch” in 2009 and has described his work as “elastic and electric, luxuriantly rippling, poetically arranged with moments of perfect stillness that arrive amid splashes of expression. His choreography wriggles energy through the body, stretches it, suspends it, and then unleashes it.”
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 70s and grounded in Abraham’s artistic upbringing in classical cello, piano and visual arts, the movement’s goal is to delve into identity in relation to a personal history.
“elastic and electric, luxuriantly rippling, poetically arranged with moments of perfect stillness that arrive amid splashes of expression.”
The work intertwines 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.
A.I.M is a representation of dancers from various dance disciplines and diverse personal backgrounds. Combined together, these individuals create a social narrative crafted by Abraham’s personal movement impulses and varied inspirations.
2013 MacArthur Fellow, Kyle Abraham, began his dance training at the Civic Light Opera Academy and the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He continued his dance studies in New York, receiving a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. In 2014, he also received an honorary doctorate from Washington and Jefferson University in Pittsburgh.
In 2012, Abraham was named the 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award recipient and 2012 USA Ford Fellow. In November, he was named the newly appointed New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist for 2012-2014. Just one month later, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater premiered Abraham’s newest work, Another Night at New York’s City Center to rave reviews. Rebecca Bengal of Vogue writes, “What Abraham brings to Ailey is an avant-garde aesthetic, a 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.”
Abraham received a prestigious Bessie Award for Outstanding Performance in Dance for his work in The Radio Show, and a Princess Grace Award for Choreography in 2010. The previous year, he was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 25 To Watch for 2009, and received a Jerome Travel and Study Grant in 2008.
His choreography has been presented throughout the United States and abroad, most recently at On The Boards, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, REDCAT, Philly Live Arts, Portland’s Time Based Arts Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Bates Dance Festival, Harlem Stage, Fall for Dance Festival at New York’s City Center, Montreal, Germany, Jordan, Ecuador, Dublin’s Project Arts Center, The Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum located in Okinawa Japan, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and Byham Theater in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.
In addition to performing and developing new works for his company, Abraham.In.Motion, Abraham recently premiered The Serpent and The Smoke, a new pas de deux for himself and acclaimed Bessie Award winning dancer and New York City Principle, Wendy Whelan as part of Restless Creature at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.
In 2011, OUT Magazine labeled Abraham as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama.”
Dearest Home – Promo
LIVE! The Realest MC – promo
Absent Matter – promo
The Watershed, an evening-length work for nine dancers, is a commanding and provocative cross-cultural exploration of freedom. Featuring Abraham’s signature style of mellifluous fluidity juxtaposed with sharp accents, The Watershed follows the universal aspiration toward freedom and simultaneously references the emancipation following the Civil War, the political tumult of 1960s and the civil rights challenges of our present day. The work features arresting scenic design by world-renowned visual artist Glenn Ligon and a score ranging from a contemporary cello suite to the soulful sounds of Otis Redding.
When the Wolves Came In, a stand-alone repertory-based program, explores the historical legacy of two totemic triumphs in the international history of civil rights: the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 20th anniversary of the abolishment of apartheid in South Africa. The works take their inspiration from Max Roach’s iconic 1960 protest album We Insist: Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite, which celebrated the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation and shed a powerful light on the growing civil rights movements in South Africa and the U.S. The potent themes inherent in these historical milestones are evident in Abraham’s choreography, evocative scenery by visual artist Glenn Ligon, the visceral power of Roach’s masterwork and original compositions of Grammy® Award-winning jazz musician Robert Glasper.
Live! The Realest MC Inspired by Pinocchio’s plight to be a ‘real boy’, Kyle Abraham’s ensemble dance work investigates gender roles in the black community and the quest for acceptance in the world of hip-hop celebrity. ‘Live! The Realest MC’, an evolution of previous solo work by Abraham, references our own humanity in this digital age, creating an abstracted and humorously dark narrative that places the iconic childhood character in an industrial dystopia.
Dearest Home is an interactive dance work focused on Love, Longing and Loss, conducted in a multi-year creative process and scheduled to premiere at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in May 2017. Comprised of solos and duets generated from conversations with a variety of age groups and self-identified subcultures, Dearest Home interweaves movement in its most vulnerable or intimate state with Kyle’s interest in cross-cultural conversation and community action. In addition, these solos and duets may be broken up and performed as individual works.
Dearest Home is a work ideally created to be presented in alternative spaces including museums, night clubs, parks, rec rooms, etc, but can also be presented in proscenium stages and black box theaters. This work will be documented in the form of a documentary film and a book rich with imagery and writings to accompany the research and presentations of Dearest Home.
Community Engagement and Residencies
Technique Classes taught by A.I.M emphasize four specific core values: exploration, musicality, abandonment, and intuition. The opening warm-up sequence focuses on the fluidity of the spine, articulation, and core body strengthening and then builds up to challenging, creative and invigorating phrase work. Students experience a personalized post-modern movement vocabulary full of intricate gestures and fearless floor work.
Lecture Demonstrations are hands on, active, informative and most of all fun. Company members demonstrate the explorative creative process of our current repertory by sharing intricacies and foundations of our movement vocabulary and it’s end result.
Creative Dance Creation Workshop is a guided process that allows students to create work within an encouraging, secure, and motivational environment. In the workshop participants will develop material in class, and will receive feedback from the Company.
Dance as Identity Ownership is a new initiative from A.I.M and an important work. The focus of this workshop is to present students/dancers with an opportunity to use dance as a platform for generating and exploring dialogue and movement dialogue about gender and sexuality. Conversations sway between the social and political, stereotypical and biased, and that which is private and present. Humanities, literature, media, film and history, cultural theory, visual art and philosophy all play a role in our discourse and the most compelling project is considering these culturally identifying relationships with movement. This workshop is first and foremost safe and educational. It goes without saying that a vow of confidentiality must be understood and taken seriously.
Repertory classes taught by A.I.M emphasize four specific core values: exploration, musicality, abandonment, and intuition. The opening warm-up sequence focuses on the fluidity of the spine, articulation, and core body strengthening and then builds up to challenging, creative and invigorating phrase work. Students experience a personalized post-modern movement vocabulary full of intricate gestures and fearless floor work.
Improvisation and Statements of Freedom in Jazz and Movement Matters not if you want to move, or if you prefer not to, you are welcomed to join this collaborative workshop that includes an explorative conversation and movement investigation centered on the ideas of Freedom and Social Change through improvisation and creative compositional tools. Kyle Abraham conducts this workshop accompanied by BlueNote Recording Artist, Otis Brown III.
The Morning After is an informal brunch with AIM held the morning after the company’s final performance at each venue. This brunch allows for an opportunity for audiences to talk with the company on a more one-on-one basis and for the company to engage in a more personalized discussion on the work and activities throughout the performance week.
Unifying Uniqueness In this workshop participants engage in a dialogue centered around their earliest memories related to perception, family, and freedom, and learn phrases of material from AIM repertory to investigate the ideologies surrounding our own uniqueness and likenesses.
Community dialogues/Brunch conversations/Chats Meet and Greet with A.I.M, where community members can experience a live excerpt from the work, then join in conversation with the company and each other about their neighborhood. Through relaxed conversation, flexible investigations, direct questions and personal talks, guests will enjoy food and beverage with Kyle Abraham and AIM dancers and delve into ideas, issues, proposals inherent in the work and its impact on the personal and local community. These conversations can happen in a multitude of unique spaces (including churches, high schools, community centers, etc.)
American Dance Institute at The Kitchen
Dearest Home (NY premiere performances)
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival
Hopkins Center for the Arts
Texas Performing Arts
Live! The Realest MC
Wesleyan University Center for the Arts
Bienal de Danza de Cali
Pittsburgh Dance Council
St Ouen, France
Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts
College Park, MD
Lincoln Center Education
The Joyce Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
Théâtre de la Ville
Live! The Realest MC