David Roussève/Reality: Stardust
Choreographed, written and directed by David Roussève, Stardust follows an African American gay urban teenager’s dreams, misgivings and challenges.
Never seen onstage, the protagonist is present only by the emotion-laden tweets and text messages he sends, which are projected onto multiple surfaces by Roussève’s long-time collaborator Cari Ann Shim Sham.
Stardust juxtaposes fluidity and freneticism, in both its movement and musical score. Lush, jazz-inflected dancing is leavened by frenetic, angular representations of the teenager’s anxious states of mind, in movement performed by a mixed-age company of dancers.
The soundscape pairs the intimate romanticism of Nat King Cole standards with rough-edged, hip-hop inflected original music by d. Sabela Grimes. Designer Christopher Kuhl’s lighting will support both the emotional textures and surreal quality of the work.
The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Peak Performances at Montclair State University co-commissioned Stardust, which will receive its world premiere at the Center. As part of his engagement at the Clarice Smith Center, Roussève was in residency during fall 2013, working with local ministries on issues of homosexuality and acceptance in the African American community.
We've invited select guests to use their mobile devices during the January 31 performance in designated tweet seats. We will ensure that this does not affect your experience of Stardust. We thank David Rousseve/REALITY for supporting us in this experiment.
This tour of David Roussève is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
This project is also supported in part by an Art Works award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The presentation of Stardust was made possible by the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project. Major support of NDP is also provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This event is part of our Civil War to Civil Rights: The Well-Being of a Nation series.
Review by MoCoVox
I will not say that the piece is perfect yet. Occasionally a section feels more cryptic than enlightening, such as a moment early in the piece where two female dancers get into a screaming contest, This is of course symbolic of – well, I don’t know what. But those enigmatic moments are very few. The vast majority of this piece expertly handles its kaleidoscopic mood shifts and plot elements. “Stardust” is a powerful new work in the modern dance canon.
– DAVID CANNON, MoCoVox, February 3, 2014
Review by critical dance
Although I appreciated the heartrending story that was presented and the deep thoughts that were provoked, as a dance critic, I was hoping to fall as much in love with the dancing as I did with the teen, but that didn’t happen. That doesn’t mean the dancing was of poor quality. It means I missed a lot of it, and what I did see didn’t further the story.
– CARMEL MORGAN, critical dance, January 31, 2014
Instagram Takeover: Charisse Skye Aguirre
Charisse Skye Aguirre, a performer in Stardust, has taken over our Instagram account to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the production!
David Roussève, REALITY and their collaborators have curated a Spotify playlist of their current musical obsessions. Listen to it here.
Preview by Metro Weekly
Rousseve's multimedia piece incorporates dance, screen designs, music from classic jazz to original contemporary hip-hop, and projected video and images -- specifically, tweets and texts that come from a poor, African-American gay adolescent, partly modeled on himself.
– DOUG RULE, Metro Weekly, January 23, 2014
Preview by The Gazette
'Stardust' centers on an African-American, gay urban teenager who the audience never sees but instead gets to know though a series of text messages and social media posts.
– CARA HEDGEPETH, The Gazette, January 30, 2014
Review by Los Angeles Times
Fierce performers all, this troupe of self-described "ghetto angels" often navigated the stage in unison, their defiant marching/stomping a recurring motif…“Stardust” delivers a transcendent coming-of-age tale of universality, aspiration and identity. #Plz go.
– VICTORIA LOOSELEAF, Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2013