For three years, American dance-theater artist Reggie Wilson and his Brooklyn-based Fist & Heel Performance Group have been figuring out what makes a Good Dance. As he explained in an article in The Village Voice, “In African culture, the dance is the text,” much as the Torah, Bible and Koran are considered the Good Books.
This weekend, Wilson premieres his answer in a work that’s a collaboration with Andréya Ouamba and his Senegalese-based Compagnie 1er Temps Danse. Titled “The Good Dance: Dakar/Brooklyn,” the piece explores connections between the Mississippi River Delta in the United States and Central Africa’s Congo River Basin through movement. The dancers also accompany their choreography with their own breathing, singing, shouting and body percussion.
Wilson reportedly conducted extensive research on the secular and religious aspects of African-American life in and around the Delta, as well as in the African countries of Cameroon, Gabon and Congo. Wilson’s choreographic style is a mix of African and Western contemporary dance, with smatterings of physical expression from blues, slave and worship cultures thrown in. The result, he says, is “Post-African Neo Hoodoo Modern dance.”
Reggie Wilson and Andréya Ouamba, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, McGuire Theater, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Tickets $15-$25. 612-375-7600.