When the film Boyz n the Hood about gangs in South Los Angeles was released in 1991, it made a strong impression on 14-year-old American choreographer Kyle Abraham. In Pavement, he draws on the film to reflect on an African-American culture that has been marked by decades of discrimination.
Abraham paints a poignant and powerful portrait of urban life in his hometown of Pittsburgh, where life is torn apart by gang violence, police brutality and drug dealing. Dressed in chequered flannel shirts and worn jeans, the seven dancers mix elegant and supple modern dance with elements of ballet and street.
With film projections, spoken word and music ranging from Vivaldi and Handel to blues and contemporary r'n'b, Pavement offers a nuanced and complex portrayal of pain and oppression, but also camaraderie and warmth.
Kyle Abraham is one of the most influential American choreographers of his generation with his distinctive blend of modern dance and hip-hop culture. His latest work Pavement has received outstanding critical acclaim in the US.
"Sourced in contemporary dance and the street, twisting together aggressive male posturing with the kind of hip-hop moves that summon comparisons to ballet, it expresses confusion with searching, eloquence." /New York Times
"Abraham has created a work of great subtlety and beauty." and "Pavement is a hard, unforgiving thing, but for some people it's also home." /The New Yorker
"Kyle Abraham just may be the defining choreographic voice of a new generation. He makes dance that has swagger, something that can escalate into anger and violence. It depicts a generation that is alienated not only by social pressures, but by virtue of technology. But this is also a generation that still needs to touch, to caress, to connect." /Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"The cycle that Abraham encapsulates with such profound feeling and choreographic brilliance in "Pavement" is difficult to contemplate. It sits in your throat, burning. And it stays with you."/Washington Post
About Kyle Abrahams
Kyle Abrahams has received numerous awards and grants, including the Jacob's Pillow Dance Award in 2012 and the MacArthur Fellowship in 2013. His previous works include The Radio Show, and Live! The Realest MC and Another Night, which he created for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. He founded his own company, Abraham.In.Motion, in 2006, but has also worked with several other choreographers, including David Dorfman and