Dance, The Way Ninjas Intended: “The Radio Show”

Photo credits: Steven Schreiber and Renee Rosensteel.


Kyle Abraham /
Performing the Boston premiere of The Radio Show
Friday, November 16, 7:30 pm | Saturday, November 17, 8pm
The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston
100 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210 Facebook Page

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston) Kyle Abraham and his troupe move like dancing ninjas. We are very lucky that they aren’t because everyone knows that if you can see the (dancing) ninja, you are already dead.

The Radio Show is a celebration of music and its effects on personal history and cultural identity. The pieces included in this production are inspired by the closing of a Pittsburgh radio station that Abraham listened to growing up. The pre-show includes Duwop radio hits and Abraham himself chatting up the audience. “AM 860” and “106.7 FM” are two dance overtures that explore range of motion while delving deep into the cultural impacts of hip hop, R&B, rap and pop music.

The troupe is an exercise in found stillness within frenetic motion. Their control and verve are intoxicating to watch as they take seemingly simple movements and make them complex. And vice versa. Abraham, in particular, moves like liquid satin; taut in one moment and lax in the next. He is a powerhouse of energy on the stage.

Abraham has an eye for Nature’s beauty. Joyfully, each dancer moves uniquely. They appear to move with the grace nature intended for their individual body. Although these works are influenced by ballet, modern dance, karate, and crunk, the individuality of the dancer is fostered by Abraham’s choreography. For example, the women move like women. They are not limited to a choreographer’s idea of how a woman should move. Additionally, for both men and women, the costumes are bare-backed revealing the sensual curve of their backs as they perform.

Each dancer is fully committed to their dramatic moment on the stage. They are not only excellent dancers but also excellent actors. In moments of small motion, their faces and body language domineer over the dance. It is awe-inspiring to behold. So awe-inspiring that should they decide to make a career change to Professional Ninja, they would have no problem captivating and then conquering their audience/adversary.

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