new-york

Heat

The Kitchen

Heat was a mixture of dance, music, and poetry presented by a consortium of performing ensembles: Urban Bush Women, a group of dancers directed by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar; the Dirty Tones Band, led by composer Craig Harris; and Thought Music, a performance group consisting of codirector Laurie Carlos, Jessica Hagedorn, and Robbie McCauley. The piece proposed an examination of various metaphoric aspects of heat—burgeoning sexuality, rage, desire, tropical atmospherics—in terms of an equally multifarious conceptual agenda: black, feminist, politically radical. In this two-hour, polymorphous mélange, the many converging intentions produced only an unsatisfactory sprawl. The performance’s all-too-collective consciousness roamed here and there in sequences of vignettes, each stuffed to overflowing with images, ideas, and summary statements. Precisely because the performers’ intentions were so

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