The choreography of Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion fuses the exciting diversity and elegance of urban styles of hip hop with ballet and contemporary dance. In “Pavement”, Abraham breathes new life into the ‘Gangsta Boheme’ of the 1980s and New Black Cinema: films like “Boyz n the Hoo”d and works of literature like W.E.B. Du Bois' “Souls of Black Folk”; the hip hop fashion of hi-top fade haircuts and jeans worn back-to-front; the depiction of unshakable friendships; the brutality of gangs and police violence. Abraham’s points of reference are the urban lifestyles and culture of discrimination in the traditionally black districts of his home city of Pittsburgh: the neighborhood of Homewood and the Hill District, once characterized by jazz and intact neighborhoods, have long been defined by the drug scene. For “Pavement”, a soundtrack combining baroque opera, contemporary classical music and R&B evolved, with spoken and multimedia elements. Through this, Abraham commemorates the histories of strong and vibrant African-American communities.
The creation and presentation of Pavement is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with the New England Foundation for the Arts though the National Dance Project. Major support for NDP is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation. Support from the NEA provides funding for choreographers in the early stages of their careers.
Developed in part during a Choreographic Fellowship at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University, Pavement was also created during a residency provided by The Joyce Theater Foundation, New York City, with major support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as well as during a residency provided by The Joyce Theater Foundation, New York City, with major support from The Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
The creation of Pavement was made possible, in part, by the Danspace Project Commissioning Initiative with support from the Jerome Foundation. Pavement was developed, in part, during a creative residency at the Bates Dance Festival. Pavement is made possible, in part, by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Swing Space program.
Harlem Stage is the Lead Commissioner of Pavement, through its WaterWorks program. Pavement had its world premiere at The Harlem Stage Gatehouse on November 2-3, 2012. WaterWorks is supported by Time Warner and the National Endowment for the Arts.