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Dimensions Dance Theater Dazzles in Kick High, Turn Fast: Celebrating 45 Years Of Dance

by Joanna G. Harris
April 14, 2018
Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts
1428 Alice Street
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 238-7526
Joanna G. Harris Author, Beyond Isadora: Bay Area Dancing, 1916-1965. Regent Press, Berkeley, CA, 2009. Contributor to reviews on culturevulture.net
Latanya d. Tigner and her group, Dimensions Dance Theater, presented Kick High, Turn Fast: Celebrating 45 Years Of Dance, a moving program of works on Friday, April 13. The evening was a celebration of the 45 years of “producing, creating, performing and teaching dance that reflects the historical experiences, struggles and contemporary lives of African-Americans.” Alongside of Ms. Tigner, co-founder Deborah Vaughan provides continued artistic leadership.

Three works on the program offered a range of treatments of current social concerns.
The first, “You Never Know,” choreographed by Ms. Tigner, was a series of episodes concerning homelessness. Apparently the dancers contributed to the stories, which were poignantly illustrated in movement and mime by dancers Macaiah Bell, Denice Simpson Braga, Laura Elaine Ellis, Marianna Hester, Bridgette Lott, Dorcas Mba and Valerie Sanders. This work and the one that followed, Andrea Vonny Lee's “Ain’t No Turning Back," a tribute to 19th century abolitionist Harriet Tubman were truly dance-dramas. Both works were beautifully and expressively produced.

A short film produced by Oakland Cultural Arts was then shown before the finale. It was a splendid example of dance around various Oakland neighborhood sites.

The program's closing work, “Dundundba” was a joyous jazz/hip-hop event choreographed by Alseny Soumah. Live music accompanied lively activity on stage as flags waved and feet flew. The audience stood and cheered. It was a terrific ending to an evening of celebration.
Marianna Hester, left, and Denice Simpson Braga in 'You Never Know' choreographed by Latanya d. Tigner.

Marianna Hester, left, and Denice Simpson Braga in "You Never Know" choreographed by Latanya d. Tigner.

Photo © & courtesy of Edward Miller


'Ain’t No Turning Back' choreographed by Andrea Vonny Lee.

"Ain’t No Turning Back" choreographed by Andrea Vonny Lee.

Photo © & courtesy of Edward Miller

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