Voci Dance brings sensuous color to composer Ken Nordine’s edgy word jazz
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 ‘60s.
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: David Gabriel, Tymisha Harris, Sarah Lockard , Adrienne Nichols, Larissa Humiston, Katherine Fabian, Leah Marke, Dede Ramos, Lisa Mie. Special thanks to Rokaya Mikhailenko and Adrienne Nichols! Also on the production team: Theresa Rogers, producer and stage manager; Dana Mott, animations and projections.
Attached images: Adrienne Nichols embodies blue Blue and blushing Rosey. Photographs by Tisse Mallon