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UMS Night School: Bodies in Motion – Session 8 Recap

Editor’s note: This post is a part of a series of by U-M student Sarah Squillante, who’s covering our free UMS Night School: Bodies in Motion series. Learn along side with them.

UMS Night School’s 8th session welcomed the largest crowd yet. That’s not too surprising, given the notoriety and accolades of its special guest: award-winning choreographer and dancer Kyle Abraham, winner of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship and numerous other awards. His work – a dynamic fusion of hip-hop and modern – is often laden with questions of gender, race, poverty, and politics. He is working on creating new works for his company, Abraham.In.Motion, in addition to previous works like Pavement and The Radio Show (excerpts below).

We’re excited to announce that Abraham’s company will be making its UMS debut during our 2014-2015 season (we’ll reveal the details when we launch our 2014-2015 season on April 13, 2014). After quick introductions, the entire session was dedicated to a talk and short discussion detailing Abraham’s personal dance history, influences, and recent works.


Check out some of Abraham’s previous work in the following videos, which were shown during his talk:

U-M Dance Sophomore Elizabeth Benedict (on left in photos below) was encouraged by a professor to attend on Monday night. “I liked the talk because I saw a lot of how I move in his movements [in the videos]. I was inspired because I haven’t been dancing since I was three, and he hasn’t been dancing since he was three either. It was really validating,” she said. “He was really humble about everything.”

Abraham also attracted those less familiar with modern dance. “I didn’t grow up understanding dance, really,” said second-time attendee and ballroom dancer, Tom (above, on right). “I do a lot of social ballroom dancing, but I come from a music family with lots of visual art and music exposure – never dance.”

Night School is coming to a close! Join us for a recap of the semester and graduation next week, March 31, in the U-M Alumni Center at 7 PM.

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