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.
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.
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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?
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.
Office Hours: Coming Soon
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.
An expert on realness: Dorian Corey in Paris is Burning: