Section 1: Assimilation to the Eurocentric point of view:
Dancers enter the stage with a bop-vibe to popular R&B song, “if your girl only knew” by Aaliyah (this moment symbolizes the untouched African Aesthetic that is fully embodied by each black dancer/human) The pure form of African Aesthetics references function and not structure. With that, as the dancers enter the space, they demonstrate the aesthetic of cool. According to author and scholar Luana, the “Aesthetic of Cool is the personal and artistic style expressing the eminence of royalty, stillness, composure, and down to earth elegance with a touch of flamboyance and audacity”.
While enjoying the music and comradery, dancers are abruptly interrupted by the sounds of asymmetrical classical music, representing the dominance of the Eurocentric point of view. The disorientation incurred by the sudden shift in music, extracts the beauty of their cool and requires conformity to a structural sense of value based on hierarchical euro centered-system of dance in academia, Ballet. The dancers engage with classical ballet movement signifying the assimilation to the Euromerican standards and dual consciousness (a way to navigate in American Culture) Through tragedy, expression and masking processed in the more modern grounded movement ( later n the piece) dancers are led to the discovery of harmony and struggle operating simultaneously. The juxtaposition of African Aesthetics and Euromerican authority promote continued exploration of movement investigation and meaning in this choreographic work.
Section 2: The reminder
Solo dancer Glenda Morales enters the stage to serve as a reminder that your black is beautiful and enough. She represents the intention of healing and reaffirmed value. She attempts to interrupt the historical pattern of Eurocentric dominance by introducing an encouraging movement phrase indicative of the Africanist presence. This serves as a transition for the duo (two dancers) to leave the stage. As the two dancers leave, the motivation to become the personification of the spoken word “can’t move” is manifested. (The poem “can’t move” is actually and acronym, it was inspired by a conversation noting my thesis research) As dancer Glenda declares “every detail matter” instrumentalist Lila Hood moves into the space with a glaring overture, here the establishment of African Aesthetic, embracing conflict initiates.
Section 3: Embrace of conflict
Luana states, embrace of conflict is “an aesthetic utilization and celebration of dynamic tension”. As Lila continues with the instrumental overture, Glenda exits stage in awe and pure bliss and krumper Danni Rogers, is summoned. Danni illustrates the misconception of African Aesthetics in American culture. As his movement profile deepens with the abstractions of joy in sorrow, process of unresolved feelings, and internal conflict regarding self-authority and value.
The exploration of conflict and tension between both artists (Lila and Danni) act as embrace of conflict two-fold. First, the violin is commonly viewed in settings similar to the Los Angeles Philharmonic or Los Angeles Symphony and Krumping is often viewed in battle sessions or cyphers. Second, the harmony that exist between the hard exterior of krump and the eloquent display of the violinist, offer a sweet juxtaposition encapsulating “celebration of dynamic tension.
Section 4: Celebration of Virtuosity/ High Art
The conclusion of the Thesis presentation is marked here. The full ensemble of dancers come together to offer a comprehensive exhibition of African Aesthetics according to my choreographic process. Luana confirmed, celebration of virtuosity is “a celebration of and flourishing in one’s self and one’s mastery”. The lively motions, fully embracing and accentuating the phenomenological black dancing body invites authenticity of art and strengthens personal inquiry for each artist. This meaningful point requests the audience to witness and participate in my personal annotation within the continuum, African Aesthetics.