Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
PORTALES--Eastern New Mexico University in Portales will host “Raw Footage,” a step-dance performance by Molodi, on Thursday, April 22 at 8:30 p.m. in the Campus Union Building Ballroom.
The leader of the Molodi, Jason Nious, will perform along with three of the four members of the troupe, Antwan Davis, Chris Rutledge and Harmony Costa. The fourth member, Khalid Freeman, is on an international tour with Stomp.
Kate Carr, instructor of voice, describes stepping as “an African-American art form that incorporates body percussion, spoken word and, in Molodi’s case, they’ve tweaked stepping to fit in with the many other talents each performer brings to the stage. Molodi’s show is a unique blend of stepping, tapping, South African gumboot, poetry, monologues, singing and audience participation.” Carr says the performers never leave the stage, even during intermission.
Nious contacted Carr, whom Carr met as an instructor while directing last year’s Summer Arts Conservatory in San Anglo, Texas, to arrange a show at ENMU. After contacting different departments, President Gamble, Associated Students Activities Board, African-American Affairs and the Department of Music contributed to bring Molidi to ENMU. President Steven Gamble’s office is funding the majority of the show because, according to Carr, he felt it would be enriching to the students and he had seen many “step competitions” while he was president of Southern Arkansas University.
According to Carr, the audience will be exhilarated and inspired by the performance. “There’s a genuine, cohesive spirit within the group that the audience will sense right away,” says Carr. She explains that the group comes from varied backgrounds, races and life experiences but has “united themselves to create visual art for everyone.”
“Raw Footage” will ask for audience interaction, but Carr assures members they will not be made to step along with the dancers. “It will make everyone want to tap their feet and wish they were as coordinated and rhythmically inclined as the performers,” says Carr.
Nious has great experience with the art form and had a minor acting role in, and worked as assistant choreographer for Stomp the Yard II. All of the Molodi members have experience dancing in Vegas – most with Stomp Out Loud and Step Afrika! as well as Cirque de Soleil productions.
According to Carr, the performance “is an opportunity for student musicians, dancers and actors to see how a college graduate can take what he’s learned from traditional methods of acting and dancing and step way outside of the box to create a one-of-a-kind show.” Nious will host a master class at ENMU to teach future students about the art form.
The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Kate Carr at 575-562-4032.