BlaQish at Resolutions 2020

Mood: trendy movement. Two people - clearly moving - are bent out of shale, in different poses but clearly making a coordinated geometry between them. Making hard technical movement look effortless.

Ayten Goksan (front) and Dominic Haynes (back) in BDblaq Dance’s BlaQish. (c) Jessica Kelly 2020

BlaQish is an innovative blend of tap, rhythm, hiphop and krump that stays true to the spirit of hiphop culture. Its moves and grooves examine the relationship of those in the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Rikkai Scott’s choreography is intriguing. It provides strong characterisation alongside well-considered movement styles and intriguing patterns.

Seguing seamlessly between experimental-styled electronic music and familiar moves and grooves, Ashley Goosey’s music blends well with the work. Music and sound track increases the impact without ever taking over from the dance. Characterisation is strong and there is always something to grab my attention. I find myself torn. Should I watch the slow walk as Ayten Goksan pulls from the group? Or Dominic Haynes and Ashley Goosey who are at this stage moving together? That is -of course- intentional. The choreography is showing a mutually supportive community alongside the amazing achievements of its members.

I’m then lost in a choreographic exporation of yin and yang. The interpretation of strength in this has me so involved that –for a while- I forget to take notes.

What remains -back at home while I write this- is an impression of rhythm and pattern, of strong solos and clear voices, and a clever interpretation of spoken, danced, musical and percussive rhythm. Each aspect of the work complements the characterisations and the overall story. I wish I could see how Rikkai incorporates the Bermudan dance students who will be collaborating in two weeks.

My involvement

I was invited to the sharing for this work some time ago. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it. After the show I heard from Katie Boag and the group about how it evolved. I regret not having been there even more. Of course it’s more mature now. It works well as it is. But Rikkai already has plans to tweak it further.

You might like to know:

Company: BDblaq Dance
Choreographer: Rikkai Scott
Performers: Ayten Goksan, Ashley Goosey and Dominic Haynes
Rehearsal Director: Agata Olszewska
Music: Ashley Goosey
Lighting: The Place

BlaQish is supported by National Dance Foundation of Bermuda and Rebecca Perinchief. Workshops and development of the piece will continue in Bermuda for dance students aged 13-21 years. It will then travel to Pittsburgh as a curtain raiser of Bodiography Dance Company. Then Rikkai is working on a new full-length piece which I know from conversation has been gestating for some time.

Alpha Phi Alpha

Alpha Phil Alpha is the first inter-collegiate Greek Letter organisation established for Black college students. It serves the community through nearly a thousand chapters in the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.