Kyle Abraham is a dancer, choreographer, MacArthur genius – and NYU alum! He founded A.I.M (formerly “Abraham In Motion”) in 2006 and quickly rose to prominence with his “sensual, thoughtful, wild, stuttering” works that bring the politics of race, gender and sexuality to the stage.

Abraham described Live! The Realest MC in the Washington Post, when he was restaged the work in 2014:

It premiered in 2011 . . . kind of looking at masculinity through my middle school and high school years, and even still today, and thinking about what the influence was from my peers and people in my community. There was a point where I felt like I needed to put on this hip-hop bravado to be more of a man, and so this is really my take on the story of Pinocchio. But instead of his quest to be a real boy, I made it my quest to be a “real man” and thinking about what that is. And kind of flipping it in a sense. It’s really about the falsities of this caricature that you’re putting on to be seen as more of a man, when in actuality it’s making you more of a puppet — this kind of generic robot. I sometimes say it’s a gay industrial story of Pinocchio seen through a hip-hop lens.

Learn more in NYU Professor Pamela Newkirk’s Indefinite Article

Join us the week of the show for two free talks, with Kyle Abraham in conversation with NYU faculty. Free and open to the public.

April 2 @ NYU Dance, in conversation with Séan Curran
April 3 @ NYU Social and Cultural Analysis, in conversation with Michael Ralph and Malik Gaines

Abraham In Conversation

The week of the show, Kyle Abraham will be in conversation with NYU faculty. Free and open to the public.

Get Into The Show

A.I.M: Live! The Realest MC Promotional Video
Trailer 1
Live! The Realest MC  Official Trailer
Trailer 2
Kyle Abraham Solo Excerpt of Live! The Realest MC (work-in-progress) Part 4

Get Into Kyle

Read All About It

Jan 2, 2017

The New Yorker: "Kyle Abraham’s Political Choreography" by Joan Acocella

His best work combines truth and beauty by making a message about race metamorphose, again and again, into symbol… Right now, Abraham has only one overriding subject, and, given the times, how could it be otherwise?

May 15, 2014

Washington Post Interview: Kyle Abraham by Stephanie Merry

[I’ve been] thinking about, what do I want my future to be in dance? Or in general. And luckily, with the MacArthur, you’re able to really ask that question and you can hopefully find time to answer it.

May 2, 2018

Dance Magazine | "How Kyle Abraham Feels About Being NYCB's First Black Choreographer in More Than a Decade"

What does a piece created for NYCB by a black, male, modern choreographer/ MacArthur Fellow/ collaborator with ballerina Wendy Whelan look like?

Apr 12, 2012

Review: Rachel Gallagher for City Arts

Abraham and all his dancers are phenomenal, bringing the perfect mix of strength and grace to their performance.

Sep 14, 2011

Review: Virginia Thayer for the Portland Mercury

As a dancer, Kyle Abraham seems convinced he has wings, and here we get to see lots of his birdlike stretching, preening, pecking, and attempts at flight.

Dec 12, 2011

Review: Gia Kourlas for the New York Times

Mr. Abraham, a phenomenal dancer, is but a heap of sequins on a white floor at the start of “The Realest MC.”

Office Hours

Hip-Hop History

Apr 16, 2018

Nelson George for the New York Times: How Hip-Hop Transformed New York

The Funky 4 + 1’s 1980 “That’s the Joint” is a great example of how hip-hop’s particular vernacular helped propel the culture forward.

Apr 21, 2015

Kyle Coward for the Atlantic: When Hip-Hop First Went Corporate

From urban hymns about realizing the American Dream to the videos celebrating them, B.I.G. and others were heralding a new hip-hop epoch.

Get Thee to the Library

Recommended readings to accompany Pamela Newkirk’s Indefinite Article.

Clare Croft, editor, Queer Dance. Oxford University Press, 2017.

Joshua Chambers-Letson, After the Party: A Manifesto for Queer of Color Life. NYU Press, 2018.

Fred Moten, In The Break: The Aesthetics Of The Black Radical Tradition. University of Minnesota Press, 2003.

José Esteban Muñoz, Disidentifications: Queers Of Color And The Performance Of Politics. University of Minnesota Press, 1999.

Extra Credit

An expert on realness: Dorian Corey in Paris is Burning: