Audre Lorde in Motion Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center
Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, setting out to pay tribute to her mentor, black lesbian writer-activist Audre Lorde, worried about making Lorde's often densely layered poetry accessible. Lorde's work, she admitted, sometimes "went right over my head." But "Audre Lorde in Motion" turned into an absolute success, exploring a dozen well-chosen poems with a generous range of voicesfrom tenderness to insightful prophecy, from eroticism to cold, sober angerwith dramatic performances by Boyce-Taylor, Roger Bonair-Agard, Abena Koomson, and T'ai Freedom Ford. Dance was handsomely represented by Ronald K. Brown (Litany for Survival) moving like the wind and a wind-driven cloud, the storm and the storm-tossed. Christalyn Wright embodied all the defiant resilience and sly joy in the rhythm around Marvin Gaye's dismal lyrics in "Inner City Blues/Mercy, Mercy Me," the poet's favorite song. During the follow-up Q&A, Brown remembered Lorde's simple challenge to artists, activists, all of us: "Are you doing your work?" She'd be proud of everyone here.