Guests of the 16th. Biennale Danza, visionary choreographer Kyle Abraham with his company A.I.M. together with electronic music producer/composer Jlin present Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth, which transforms Mozart’s D minor score into an electronic work evoking ritual and rebirth.
Born in a middle-class African-American neighbourhood in Pittsburgh, Kyle Abraham discovers his talent for dance while rehearsing for a high-school production of a musical, later than most did, which is probably why Abraham chose to pursue the career of the choreographer, rather than interpreter – although he excels in both. He has been working with the companies of David Dorfman, Nathan Trice, and Bill T. Jones. In 2006, he founded A.I.M., a company of artists of very diverse backgrounds, and one that is politically involved in the fight for racial justice and affiliated with the BLM movement.
Abraham reflects on the themes of identity, history, and community, with a good amount of autobiography thrown in, like in Radio Show (2010), where he reminisces about his father’s illness. Invited in Venice by Wayne McGregor, Kyle Abraham collaborated with pioneer electronic music producer/composer Jlin to present, in national premiere, an amazing revisitation of Mozart’s Requiem in D minor as an urban, electronic piece that commemorates rituals, losses, and births. With his fluid, versatile language, Abraham draws from classical ballet, hip-hop, modern dance, and street dance to direct ten dancers around the superb scenery installed by Dan Scully. In Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth, Jlin takes one of Mozart’s most mysterious pieces and revolutionizes it into a piece of electronic dance music, while Abraham makes a cornerstone of western white culture jump into Afro-futurism.