Lakaï Dance’s The Block: An Afro-Musical
2019-20 MIT Performing Series
Sharing personal stories and narratives through movement
Lakaï Dance Theatre presents The Block: An Afro-Musical as part of the 2019–20 MIT Performing series. In The Block, the street becomes a stage for self-reflection on toxic masculinity, racial profiling, mental health, and violence, all as a means of community improvement. Through hip-hop and Afro-Diasporic movement styles, the performers challenge stigmas on black and brown vulnerability and the difficulties of asking for help. Developed from individual narratives of the director and performers, the script shares personal stories of hardships and triumphs experienced in a tough and violent yet ultimately creative and resilient urban community. The piece includes an original musical score composed by the company.
Lakaï Dance Theatre participated in a rehearsal residency for The Block at MIT in May 2019.
The Block was presented as part of the 2019–20 MIT Performing series, a prototyping and presenting series programmed by Jay Scheib, professor for Music and Theater Arts, and presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, and supported in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT. MIT Performing promotes a research-based artistic practice and serves as a new platform for contemporary performance.
The Block: An Afro-Musical
September 27 & 28, 2019 / 7:30pm
MIT Theater Building, W97
345 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA
Rehearsal of The Block
The brainchild of choreographer McKersin, Lakaï Dance Theatre (LDT) takes its name and driving purpose from the word for “home” in McKersin’s native tongue of Haitian Creole.
LDT draws from jazz, hip-hop, and Afro-Diasporic styles while incorporating powerful spoken word and live music to paint complex stories that reflect the realities of inner-city existence. The company makes work that uses the idea of home to trace the ripple effects not only of harm, but also of healing, through families and neighborhoods. LDT explores these narratives in their latest performance piece, The Block – an intricate and candid look at the nexus of urban cultural incubation.
More at the artists’s website: Lakaï Dance Theatre
Broadway World: Lakaï Dance Theatre to Debut New Work at Live Arts 2018