The Arts

COBA, Collective of Black Artists – Diasporic Dimensions

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Reviewed by Paula Citron

COBA, Collective of Black Artists, can always be counted on for eye-catching, polished dance works flavoured with Afro-Caribbean sensibilities.

The ambitious program under the umbrella name Diasporic Dimensions included three world premieres and one remount that collectively evoked Mali, Haiti, Jamaica and South Africa,

There was, however, a sense of uniformity to the evening. While each dance was individually worthy, Diasporic Dimensions needed more variety of mood to jolt the audience with an electric charge.

Julia Morris’ Rastafarian-inspired Hightal was the closing work, but even though it had live chanting and drumming, given the spirituality of the piece, it never grew to a frenzy. It was also similar in mood to Jeanguy Saintus’ voodoo-inspired Moments which preceded it. If these works had been separated, the program would have seemed more varied.

The other works were BaKari E. Lindsay’s Mande Variations and Maa-Keeba. The former was inspired by the kora, an African harp, and the latter by the great singer/activist Miriam Makeba.
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Diasporic Dimensions
COBA, Collective of Black Artists
Fleck Dance Theatre, Feb. 26 to 28, 2010

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