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(under)Cover Girls is a dance music theater piece that uncovers the startling dreams and unforseen obstacles to realizing the dreams of three young women from varied cultural backgrounds, all coming of age in the mid 70's. The piece was conceived by choreographer Pat Hall and storyteller/percussionist Pam Patrick and includes among its collaborators: Native American dancer Gayle Rozie-Green and writer/director Valeria Vasilevski.
The text of the (under)Cover Girls is an imagistic, nonlinear narrative developed from the stories remembered and imagined in our young lives. It's main imagery is the universal symbol for women - blood - and the transformation of our lives whose milestones are often marked in blood. In Scene One, "Moonblood," the teenage protagonist awaits her first menstruation in a touching and hilarious trajectory of earnestness and high theatrics. The text moves through spoken, sung, voice-over, sprechstimme, and stand up comedy. The speakers are actors, dancers and musicians, representing a broad range of backgrounds and ages who move through the varied scenes and characters either linearly or in strong counterpoint.
The music is composed for contemporary and traditional instruments featuring extensive percussion and cello. The piece is heavily scored for song and dance and has its own featured music moments as well.
The Blanket Dance takes us through the various stages of a woman's life from baby girl in swaddling blanket to vererable ancestor whose corpse is buried in her life blanket. Complementing this, the choreographer, Pat Hall, elaborates with the dance and ritual movement from Haitian, Caribbean, African and island dance vocabularies which she has researched, performed, and taught for over fifteen years.
Hear the Beat...Dance the Story is a multidisciplinary teaching and performing company that effectively fuses storytelling, dance, and music. The Company, which is the product of noted performers/educators Pat Hall and Pam Patrick, creates a powerful theatrical presence that both entertains and teaches its audience.
Hear the Beat...Dance the Story has performed for sold out audiences at Dance Theater Workshop's Family Matters series, Inside/Out series at Jacob's Pillow, Lincoln Center Meet the Artists series, Reel to Real at Lincoln Center, The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, Sienna College and for Young Audiences New York, among others. Educators have called their work "...stunningly beautiful...a magical journey of imagination."
Hear the Beat...Dance the Story presents a theatrical and interactive program of dancing, stories, and music from Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas. It is enriched by extensive research to far points around the globe including Martinique, Jamaica, Senegal, Nigeria, and Benin.
Using movement, voice, and percussion instruments, the audience is drawn fully into the performance with their eyes, ears, bodies, and spirits. The program opens with a South African tale about a goddess who is seeking the perfect mate. The program then takes us on a journey to the American South with a contemporary rhyme with a rap flavor and a Gullah trickster tale. The journey conclues with a Haitian story about a queen who loves to dance - and she does! The audience is taught a call and response song in Kreyòl and invited to join the queen in her dance. The journey through dance, stories and music culminates in a shared moment of joy, one that we hope will remain with the audience for some time to come.
Copyright © 2020 Pat Hall
photos by Stephanie Berger