“Spectrum Dance Theater hosted an evening of work last Saturday, November 23, entitled Showing Out: Contemporary Black Dance. The concert, curated by Spectrum Artistic Director Donald Byrd and presented by the Central District Forum for Art and Ideas, played to a packed house and showcased the work of five Black dance artists from Seattle: Alex Crozier, Sadiqua Iman, Dani Tirrell, Jade Solomon Curtis, and Markeith Wiley. Byrd introduced the first of the evening’s two showings as a workshop and an advocacy project, which helped frame the pieces as the ongoing (self-)explorations of the artists. While some artists focused explicitly on their identity as Black creative artists, the show as a whole was closer to a creative exercise in autobiographical storytelling.
Iman’s highly sensual solo, Slide, provided a break from storytelling with a personal meditation on female sexuality, prefaced by an artist statement in the program. “Arousal for her is complex,” Iman’s voice repeated, her spoken word poetry recorded and paired with the sound of waves. Her movement was luscious as she stretched her limbs and explored the space just beyond her reach. Although her most sexually explicit movements faced away from the audience, her face was engaged in her sensual experience throughout. During a section of traveling movement, her face lost its believable sense of bliss; the piece would have had more of an arc if she had let it go entirely for those moments and allowed the whole of her body to tell her story. Nevertheless, Iman is an engrossing performer, and her dance was effective in tapping into a celebratory sexuality.”