Madame Walker Theatre Center; directed by Deborah Asante and Jeffrey Page; June 26-29
Do you know where your soul is, from whence it came, wither it goes? Once again the Asante Children’s Theatre thoroughly engages and enchants with deliberate writing, crisp direction, inspired choreography and, above all, sprightly performance. Written as a quest that traverses the musical scene, the performance opens with the memory of place where there is not division between body and soul. Dispatched are two ambassadors to spread that gospel of unity as they encounter a diversity of instances where the dearly departed is in effect a living soul rendered absent by someone who has lost the memory. By performance's end, the point is clear and the journey to it is worthy of attention and attendance. Visually delightful with costumes that run the gamut from sparkle to shreds, this is a tightly conceived production that begins with youth-oriented writing by Deborah Asante, Yvonne Gilbert, Cleo House, Phillip T. Hughes and Mijiza Soyini. Jeffrey Page’s choreography challenges and cast members meet that high standard of fluidity, flexibility, sharp attack and finish, at-one with the wide range of music. Asante and Page direct deftly with attention to detail of character and theme development. Three Page works in particular earn mention: “Soul Mates,” “Lonely Soul” and “Searching for Soul In All the Wrong Places” can be stand-alone as a grouping or singularly, and represent a cutting-edge moment for dance in Indianapolis. “Groove for Thought” is an ensemble number that thrills in its audacity.
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