Choreography by Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group
As is often the case, I didn’t know much about the piece before sitting down to the show. The stage was wide open and littered with silver tinsel; a red suitcase sat among it.
The title obviously placed the dance in the context Moses’s story. The title also hints that there is more than one Moses, more than one version of the story. At the beginning, Wilson enters the stage and smiles a the audience for a while. He almost seems to chuckle. He then proceeds to put all of the tinsel into the red suitcase (I was truly surprised that it all fit) and then rolls the luggage off stage. I’m still not sure what meant – a kind of labor? A clearing or cleansing of the space? Would Wilson smile at us again? These were not the last of my questions.
As the dance progressed, I became struck by the endurance of the dancing and the commitment of repetition within the choreography. They seemed to be working through a set of ideas or questions. It almost seemed as if there could be no “end” to the piece. The music (both taped and live) placed the Moses story within another context of African struggles and the African diaspora. These layers of context added to the depth of the piece. Yet, I wasn’t sure what that depth was. This question still lingered even after the talk with Wilson and the performers after the show. The program suggests that the piece is “a powerful investigation of the nature of leadership – who leads? who follows? – in contemporary culture.”
Who was this piece for? The dancers? Wilson? Any audience member? I didn’t feel spoken to. I wonder what it might be like to have a talk before the show as part of the experience of watching.