Moses(es), Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group’s full-length dance performance examines how we lead and why we follow. It explores and questions our expectations and relationships to leadership and how the effects of migration on beliefs and customs are inter-connected to who we consider our Leaders. Grounded in Wilson’s re-reading of Zora Neale Hurston’s Moses, Man of the Mountain (the Moses story told as a Southern folk tale in African-American vernacular), and with his exploratory travels to Israel, Egypt, Turkey and Mali, (project) Moseses Project examines the migration of peoples and culture from Africa out into the world, with particular attention paid to the effects that migration has on beliefs. Wilson’s research for this project has landed on the intersection of the origins of Monotheism and African cultures.
Reggie Wilson’s development of this new work embodies three points of expansion and growth in his creation process that will increase the standard and strength of the production values to create a well-integrated performance. 1. Long-time lighting design collaborator Jonathan Belcher is being included earlier in Phases I and II and consistently throughout the project timeline to insure the work maintains aesthetic integrity when being performed in large and small venues (200-300-seat black box to proscenium Opera House). 2. Company vocalists for the first time will work with a sound engineer to layer and incorporate live vocals and possible texts with pre-recorded music to be manipulated for the performance. Sound will include Hip-hop, House, with Traditional: Egyptian Zar (Mazahar), Senegalese (Yandé Coudou Séne), Zanzibar (BiKudude), U.S. (Elaine Flowers and Lia McPherson) and live vocals by Fist and Heel performers. And 3. A shift and enhancement in the way Wilson is working with his research, information-gathering and development stages; He is utilizing a new level of benchmarks throughout the different phases of the timeline (see below). On this project he is working with dramaturge Susan Manning in a scholarly manner to organize the specific research; this, in addition to his process of investigative work with primary sources and practitioners in the field. The expectation is that these areas of expansion, growth and development will make a complete experience.
Moses(es) is funded in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the MetLife Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts; the MAP Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC); The Harkness Foundation For Dance