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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ko-Thi Premieres 'Words from the Sole'

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A voice whispers, “I been away so long, I wonder if the drum still has the power to connect us back to the beginning of being.” Those words by Milwaukee poet Sheena Carey open Words from the Sole, a groundbreaking new dance from Ko-Thi Dance Company founder Ferne Yangyeitie Caulker developed through many months of collaboration with Carey, musicians Tim Russell, Seth Warren-Crow and Steve Willis, hip-hop artists Marquita Reid, Chelsey Walker and Raphael Xavier, and a new multiethnic company of talented young dancers. As the drumming began during a recent rehearsal, the connection between ancient and contemporary was overwhelming.

So was the link between the nearly legendary Ko-Thi of yore and this new vibrant, diverse community of dancers. Highly theatrical and musically impeccable, this new work is also an original, richly varied fusion of African and hip-hop styles that will surprise and, I think, delight all but the stodgiest African dance purists. Modern girls with cell phones co-exist with young men in shaman costumes. Each dancer has fine opportunities to show who they are. There are only two performances, 7:30 p.m. May 25-26 at UWM's Mainstage Theatre, 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd. Mark your calendar.

For more information, call 414-229-4308 or visit www.arts.uwm.edu/tickets.
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