'Retrograde: the America Story through the eyes of...'
"RETROGRADE: The American Story Through the Eyes of...", reveals ranging perspectives on cultural appropriation, and is filled with emotionally opaque images and ironic commentary on the effect that slavery, segregation, and racism has had on the African American narrative. This project hopes to inspire audiences to expand on the conversation on culture and ancestry, learning from the history within their surroundings.
Appropriation commercializes culture, trivializes our struggles, and perpetuates stereotypes. By blurring the lines between past and present, RETROGRADE aims to lead the audience through an experience of black accomplishments, obstacles and contributions.
The creative process for this particular piece has also served as a heritage study for each collaborator. We plan to bridge the gap between history and art by honoring and honing in on topics that have shaped us into individuals.
'Victoria' is a dance theater work directed and choreographed by Cain A. Coleman Jr. and Matthew Perez. This performance piece premiered June 2016 at Gibney Dance Center, with text written by Parris 'PAMS' Lewis. The directors of ColemanCollective created 'Victoria' in honor of the many strong and resilient women who inspire them.
The physicality of the players in this work, is a combination of female athletics, ancient goddesses, and a commentary on the sexualization of the female body. It describes the dichotomy between elegance and force, while emphasizing the layers and varying strengths of the woman. The cast is made up of four women (three dancers and one actor), who exemplify community through camaraderie and mentorship.
The soundscape for 'Victoria' is a score of recorded tracks, along with live spoken text. The directors were drawn to the irony of using 'La Donna E Mobile' from the Verdi opera "Rigoletto", with the solid, athletic movements of the dancers. Later in the work, is an uplifting message from of a mysteriously clairvoyant, cloaked story teller. Her voice comes and goes like a wind passing in the night, as if to symbolize the inner voice of security. The work ends with the soothing womanly melodies and chants of Princess Nokia's 'Young Girls' while the performers shed layers of flowing costumes to reach their ultimate cathartic freedom and peace of mind.
'Bodies in a Glass Jar'
"Bodies in a Glass Jar" portrays the obstacles that come with ending a long term relationship. It considers reasons to maintain a relationship after the romance has gone like fear of what the public eye may say, preserving the household/children, financial stability, complacency, familiarity, etc. This duet was created by Cain A. Coleman Jr. and Matthew Perez, with both a same sex male couple and a same sex female cast. The sound is a classic yet contemporary combination of Erykah Badu and Miles Davis.