On summer nights Caribbean men sit down to play dominoes in the city’s parks and on their neighborhood blocks, but in Gabri Christa’s Dominata, the dominoes players stand up. Extended from a 12-minute film she directed and choreographed in collaboration with Nathan Trice, Dominata pays homage to the dominoes players who populated the Caribbean in her Curaçao youth, and their New York City counterparts. “I want to make people aware of the significance [the game] has for Caribbean people. I think it is as important as Carnival,” she says. Accompanied by a soundtrack of “quirky rhythms” and orations by Latasha N. Nevada Diggs, Justice X, and the band Burnt Sugar, Gabri’s piece incorporates the mismatched patterns of domino stones into her “movement phrases”—”one, two, three, four, five, six against two,” for example. Casting herself as the work’s storyteller, she stands tallest, leading a male cast to communicate the pastime’s refreshing object. “Life and games, mostly, are about accumulating stuff, [but in dominoes] the one who empties his or her hand first wins. I like that metaphor.”

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