BWW Reviews: Ronald K. Brown EVIDENCE, A Dance Company
On a dark stage eight dancers lift Annique Roberts to the spotlight as she stands on their shoulders above them. I wonder, is she a sacrifice or a goddess? She falls back into their hands, and the music begins. This is the opening to Torch, passionately performed by Ronald K. Brown's EVIDENCE, the BRIC House resident company.
As gospel music plays in the background, the vocalist bellows out the plea rain on us, shower down your spirit Lord. Dancer Annique Roberts does a fine job expressing power and light as she dances with percussive movements, robust hip gestures and a spritely yet earthbound quality. She is a muse, a light of joy and inspiration for the other sojourners who dance with the same unique style, humbly asking for the Holy Spirit to rain on them and shower down a blessing. The ensemble dancers reach out in a trancelike state performing a fusion of African dance movements with a contemporary spin, but the call for guidance and the beauty of the dancer's movements are as primal as the worship experience from the beginning of time.
The call for spirit continues when the second piece, On Earth Together, set to music from Stevie Wonder's songbook, begins. This dance opens to the popular Living for the City as dancer Solomon Dumas enters the stage. He is caught in the hustle of the city with movements of strength and beauty, but this dancer is not a victim of the streets; he is a player. He encounters a heroin addict played by Ronald K. Brown himself, but he articulates his way to transformation and ushers in other dancers as the music changes to Wonder's Always and You and I.
It wasn't until the entrance of the guest artist that the show reached its full potential. This section introduced 30 community members, ages 8-77, performing alongside the company. The consistent thread was the mission of unity expressed uniquely by each dancer who entered the stage. The expression of joy and service to one another was placed on everyone's face as they were performing, and the end result was outstanding.