The Gettin' (2014)


Created during Artistic Director Kyle Abraham's tenure as a Resident Commissioned Artist at New York Live Arts from 2012-2014, The Gettin' draws inspiration from jazz legend Max Roach’s seminal album, "We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite". Grammy Award-winning jazz artist Robert Glasper reimagines this suite to accompany Abraham's choreography.

Roach's album, originally intended to be released in 1963 to mark the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, was released in the fall of 1960 due to the severity sparked by the sit-ins in Greensboro, NC, and the urgency of the growing civil rights movement in the US and South Africa.

The album timelessly tackles these very same issues and questions; his jazz work figures as an evaluation of rights perceived through his experience and expressed through his art. The Gettin' was created to live in a skin well aware of the cyclical hardships of our history, and the very present fear of an unknowable future.

The Gettin' is a stand-alone repertory work created for the program When the Wolves Came In, which Abraham began working on after a visit to the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto, South Africa. While there, he became fixated on the power of perception, and the ways that the 13-year-old Pieterson’s death in an anti-Apartheid protest shines a spotlight on questions of personal choice and collective rights in the struggle for freedom.

For Michael Brown, Tyler Clementi, Eric Garner, Islan Nettles, and the countless other faceless and nameless women and men facing violence and discrimination, these questions still have terrible resonance.

In The Gettin’, Abraham tells his dancers to be angry. He tells the Los Angeles Times: "A hundred years past the Emancipation Proclamation there’s a hunger to change and a hunger to be seen that’s part of the intention of that work."

Credits: Story

Choreography by Kyle Abraham in collaboration with A.I.M
Lighting and Video Design by Dan Scully
Scenic Design by Glenn Ligon
Sound Editing by Sam Crawford
Music Composed by Robert Glasper
Music by The Robert Glasper Trio
Costumes by Karen Young

Original Performance by Matthew Baker, Winston Dynamite Brown, Tamisha Guy, Catherine Ellis Kirk, Jeremy “Jae” Neal, Connie Shiau

Credits: All media
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