Follow us:

ArtsPage

A way to keep up with Seattle theaters, concert halls, galleries, museums and other fine-arts events.

October 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Gregory Maquoma’s ‘Exit/Exist’

Gregory Maqoma / courtesy On the Boards

Gregory Maqoma / courtesy On the Boards

From Misha Berson, Seattle Times theater critic:

A dancing man in a light-colored suit emerges slowly from the darkness, then the shadows and on into the light.  Once fully illuminated, he will soon transport himself back into time and transform into a  chief from South Africa’s Xhosa tribe – a  proud, determined leader who will lose his land and his life but not his legacy fighting the British colonialist takeover in the 19th century.

The ferociously gifted dancer-choreographer Gregory Maqoma pays homage to his revered Xhosa ancestor in “Exit/Exist,” the mesmerizing dance piece presented over the weekend at On the Boards.  It was part of a citywide “Race Alive” program, sponsored by several local arts institutions, which investigates race and culture.

The packed house at OTB on Saturday night witnessed a stunning performance, in which the Johannesburg-bred Maqoma’s tautly expressive frame and his very sinews seemed to communicate the entire history of an unjustly  vanquished people.

Employing  resonant visual accents of streaming sand and piles of grain, “Exit/Exist” was thoroughly hypnotic – thanks not only to Maqoma’s virtuosity, but also the gorgeous harmonies and anguished lamentations of the four-man South African vocal ensemble, Complete, which accompanied him live.

Maqoma and his Vuyani Dance Theatre have visited Seattle before, impressively.  But “Exit/Exist” was something rare and indelible:  an offering of transcendent power, inducing a collective trance that leads to greater historical understanding.

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►