A Reflection on Walking With ‘Trane

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Some of us from YDT were able attend Urban Bush Women’s spring show, Walking With ‘Trane at Wesleyan University. This was the first time I experienced a dance show which used a combination of  live music, visuals, and vocals throughout the whole performance. It began with the soft lighting, which emphasized the shape and contour of the dancer’s body. I felt like I was peeking into something very intimate, as the dancer seemed oblivious to the audience’s presence, which made it all the more intriguing. As the lighting brightened, so did the dancer’s movements, starting off slow, but building momentum, and then eventually, a peak. This would eventually transition to  bright lights flooding in from the wings, as more dancers made their way to the stage,  which presented  a sense of urgency as the dancers interacted with one another in order to match the momentum of the music.

The music was truly something special, as the pianist, playing jazz legend John Coltrane’s works, flooded our ears with passion, and care. He added his own authentic touch and rhythm, while staying true to the beauty and genius of the original works. His synergy with the dancers is to be praised, as both him and the dancers carefully listened to one another, trusting each other’s judgement as they made their next move.  A few of the dancers were even vocal, which took me by surprise, as they would let out shouts filled with emotion, or sing to match the pace of their on stage atmosphere. Their voices, just like their dancing, were loud and powerful, captivating the whole audience and amplifying the whole room.
When the performance had ended, I felt an overwhelming sense of fulfillment and awe, as the artists stole my attention in the most authentic way possible- by staying true to the man of whom the show was named after, the whole time. Thank you UBW, for allowing me to glare into your genius.