The Radio Show (2010)

By A.I.M

Samantha Farrow, Maureen Wright and Amber Lee Parker in The Radio Show by Steven Schreiber (2010) by Photo by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

The Radio Show is broken up into various shorter works that blend Artistic Director Kyle Abraham's fondest memories of driving with his family and of listening to Pittsburgh's radio stations Hot 106.7 FM WAMO and its sister station AM 860.

Samantha Farrow and Jeremy Nedd in The Radio Show By Steven Schreiber (2010) by Photo by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

Amber Lee Parker in The Radio Show by Steven Schreiber (2010) by Photo by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

On September 8, 2009 WAMO, the only urban radio station in Pittsburgh went off-air. With the turmoil surrounding the death of 16 year old Darrion Albert in Chicago discussed over the airwaves of radio stations around the world, Abraham wondered how aware listeners were to the goings on in other urban communities around the country now that this voice had been taken away.

Samantha Farrow and Jeremy Nedd in The Radio Show by Steven Schreiber (2010) by Photo by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

Without black radio, where is the audible voice of the black community? Radio was so prevalent during times of strife in the past. Where is its place today? Is radio fading away? Are we still listening? Abraham weaved together these questions while exploring his father's diagnoses of Alzheimer's disease and aphasia, drawing a parallel between the disrupted radio frequency and his father's loss of voice.

Kyle Abraham and Amber Lee Parker in The Radio Show by Steven Schreiber (2010) by Photo by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

“With Alzheimer’s,” Abraham says, “you’re present one moment, then in the blink of an eye, you have no idea where you are. You’re in a different head space.” Connections between music and memory (and the memories associated with certain music) are at the forefront of this dance work.

The Radio Show by Steven Schreiber (2010) by Photo by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

WAMO had an AM station and an FM station. The AM station played old soul music (such as Shuggie Otis and Dionne Warwick), and the FM station played contemporary and hip hop music (such as Jay Z and Beyoncé). Subsequently, The Radio Show is broken up into two parts: AM and FM.

Samantha Farrow and Amber Lee Parker in The Radio Show by Steven Schreiber (2010) by Photo by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

Music from the hour-long Radio Show ranges from The Shirelles and The Velvelettes, to Beyoncé and Sophia Fresh, to Alva Noto and JS Bach. Woven throughout are snippets of radio chatter (WAMO had call-in segments where listeners could voice opinions on topics pertinent to the community, and Abraham emulates these segments throughout the dance).

Kyle Abraham in The Radio Show by Steven Schreiber (2010) by Photo by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

Amber Lee Parker in The Radio Show by Steven Schreiber (2010) by Photo by Steven SchreiberA.I.M

Says Gervase Caycedo in the Charleston City Paper, “Sometimes in abstract modern performances, movements come from an inexplicable place of inspiration and creativity, which is inspiring but can be overwhelming. The Radio Show is nothing like that. It is down to earth and in touch with its audience. A.I.M's performance may symbolic and abstract, but it still manages to be relevant.”

Credits: Story

Choreography: Kyle Abraham
Lighting Design: Dan Scully
Costume Design: Sarah Cubbage

Original Performers: Kyle Abraham, Maureen Damaso, Samantha Farrow, Raja Kelly, Nicole Mannarino, Jeremy Nedd, Amber Lee Parker, Rachelle Rafailedes

The Radio Show is made possible by the generous support of The Heinz Endowments and with funds from the 2009–2010 Danspace Project Commissioning Initiative with support from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Additional support for the commissioning and development of The Radio Show has been provided through The Kelly Strayhorn Theater and the Harlem Stage Fund for New Work, which has received support from the Jerome Foundation.

The Radio Show was created during a residency provided by The Joyce Theater Foundation, New York City, with major support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Radio Show world premiered at The Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh in January 2010 and went on to receive a Bessie Award for its New York Premiere at Dancespace Project in February 2010.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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