Megan Rhyme remembers being mesmerized the first time she saw Tanniqua-Kay Buchanan dance. It was at a Hairpin Arts Center showcase in January, and Buchanan was performing her piece A Man Was Lynched Yesterday. “She had a really powerful message,” recalls Rhyme. “Her aesthetic was very theatrical and dramatic.” Rhyme was particularly taken by the way Buchanan translated difficult subject matter into muscular, narrative-driven art.
In her own work, Rhyme leans toward more ethereal pieces. Thinking this contrast could lead to a striking collaboration, she asked Buchanan to work with her. The result: In the Presence of Chasms, a suite of five dances that alternates between Buchanan’s topical pieces and Rhyme’s abstract musings. Buchanan’s Myuz, for example, was inspired by remarks made by the mother of Philando Castile after he was shot to death by a police officer, while Rhyme’s Won’t You Care explores the gaps between, as she puts it, “speeches, speaking, and being heard.”
The two women never actually dance together during the 90-minute performance. That’s because Rhyme sought to structure Chasms like a dialogue rather than a merging of minds: “I want the audience to see two different voices and ask what separates us and, also, what unites us. The goal is to make space for conversation.”
GO:In the Presence of Chasms runs November 30 to December 1 at Hamlin Park Fieldhouse, 3035 N. Hoyne Ave. $10 to $15. rhymedance.com
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