David Roussève / REALITY



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Urban Scenes/Creole Dreams


Considered one of Rousève’s most important works, Urban Scenes/Creole Dreams is the seventh and final segment in the four-year dance/theater series, "Pull Your Head to the Moon... tales of Creole Women," written, directed, and choreographed by David Rousseve.  The evening-length work is also the first that Roussève presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival.  As with the series as a whole, the work juxtaposes the early the early 1900s life-stories of an elderly Creole/Black woman (the choreographer’s grandmother) with stories, movement, and images from contemporary African America exploring issues of racial, gender, and sexual oppression.  Compositionally, the work projects the African American pop culture of these two eras (language, music, dance) onto an experimental form of expressionistic dance/theatre rarely seen in African American work.  Thematically, in "Urban Scenes/Creole Dreams," the narrator's losses to AIDS are contrasted with his grandmother’s loss of her husband and cousin to the racial and sexual oppression of a different era.  Through the era-jumping narrative and visual representation of these two epochs, the timeless quest for spirituality and self-dignity in the face of loss and oppression emerges.  Urban Scenes represented the second time Roussève collaborated with Sweet Honey in the Rock’s Ysaye Barnwell, who wrote an original score performed live by a gospel choir.  The work was also the first of three major collaborations with set designer Debbie Lee Cohen.



photos 1-3: Donna Ann McAdams
photos 4-5: Lois Greenfield