140 N. Columbus Blvd. (at Race St.)
Philadelphia, PA 19106
All performances will be followed by a post-show discussion moderated by Susan Manning, professor, Northwestern University, and dramaturg of Moses(es).
“I want to see people; people using their bodies to do things. I want to see the struggle and the getting it done. I want to see the control and clarity.” Reggie Wilson, choreographer of Moses(es)
"Startling, starkly beautiful and enigmatically deep." Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune
In his newest work, renowned choreographer Reggie Wilson examines the multiple iterations of Moses, secular and religious, as well as Moses’s mythical place in people’s imaginations. How do we lead and why do we follow? Moses(es) questions leadership and our many relationships to Moses. The story of Moses and the stories of migration ancient and modern are forever intertwined—and their effects on belief, culture, and body language are present throughout the world. Wilson turns these effects into stunning physical expression and an intense sensory experience.
Wilson draws from the ritual and body languages of the blues and slave and spiritual cultures of Africa and Africans in the diaspora, and melds them with his own movement methods. Inspired by Zora Neale Hurston’s Moses, Man of the Mountain, Wilson traveled to Israel, Egypt, Turkey, and Mali to consider the migration of African people into the world. The result is a rich, compelling, and provocative evening-length work choreographed for nine virtuosic dancers.
Past Festival show: The Tale (2006)
Choreographer Reggie Wilson Dramaturg Susan Manning Lighting Jonathan Belcher Costumes Naoko Nagata Performers Rhetta Aleong, Dwayne Brown, Yeman Brown, Paul Hamilton, Lawrence Harding
Founded in 1989, Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group is a Brooklyn-based dance company that investigates the intersections of cultural anthropology and movement practices and believes in the potential of the body as a means of knowledge. As artistic director, choreographer, and performer, Wilson draws from the movement languages of the blues, spiritual, and slave cultures of Africa in the Americas and combines them with post-modern elements and his own personal movement style to create what he calls “Post-African/Neo-HooDoo Modern dances.” The group has performed in the US and abroad at venues including Dance Theater Workshop and the now New York Live Arts, BAM (2009 Next Wave), REDCAT, the Kohler Center, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and Festival Kaay Fecc in Senegal.
The presentation of Moses(es) was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Festival Co-Producers: Andrew and Bryna Scott, Nancy Lanham