The dancers and musicians shared the stage for this evening length performance. Dormeshia, Derek K. Grant, and Jason Samuel Smith teamed up with a live jazz combo.
That upper physicality was contrasted with the sharp, powerful stomps of their digging footwork, which sounded as jazzy as the musicians’ instruments.
It was also very apparent during the performance how well these three appreciated each other’s talents: they affectionately watched other members as they moved, responding with gentle smiles and nods. This sense of comfortable togetherness made it feel less like a performance than an opportunity to watch them as they exhibited their skills to each other.
Being able to swing means you have to exhibit a great sense of musicality, not just a mastery of dance mechanics. The live accompaniment of piano, bass, and drums supplied the jazzy background– the dancers shared that lyricism and riffed off each other.
The performance was very much about give and take, an exercise in the call and response technique,. A dancer performed a short phrase and stopped for one of the musicians to follow with a response. They would continue this playfulness, back and forth.