All about ‘Paint Chips’

Voci Dance brings sensuous color to composer Ken Nordine’s edgy word jazz

Voci Paint Chips 4Time was, when blue was the saddest.

Sadder than that.

Blue was the bluest blue, blue can be blue.

No one seemed to care, least of all blue.

No, blue wasn’t making it.

— Ken Nordine


The voice of Ken Nordine is instantly recognizable to a generation raised on his TV commercial voiceovers. His deep, resonant voice is perhaps most memorably showcased in the eclectic word jazz recordings he produced in the late 1950s and 1960s.

In Paint Chips, Nordine’s rhythmic lyrics and hypnotic tone captured on his 1968 album Colors are the canvas upon which Voci Dance moves. Artistic Producer Genevieve Bernard has choreographed Nordine’s colors with sensuous contemporary dance movements, inspired by his edgy poetry.

“I want the viewer to come in, hear Ken Nordine’s music-word jazz and see the words come to life through the dancer,” says Bernard. “His pieces give the colors a character, and the dancers become the characters.”


Out of Voci’s virtual coloring box comes blue Blue, fierce Purple, conflicted Green, body-conscious Burgundy and a spectrum of other hues performed with delightful theatrical nuance and flourish by the exceptional and experienced cast of Voci dancers: Lisa Mie, Adrienne Nichols, Larissa Humiston, Katherine Fabian and Rokaya Mikhailenko! Also on the team: Frank Ramirez, stage manager and company manager. Special thanks to Dana Mott for the animations and projections.


Images: Adrienne Nichols embodies blue Blue and blushing Rosey. Photographs by Tisse Mallon