Break dancing, waving, popping, locking, and expanding the very definition of hip-hop style, the dancers in Decadancetheatre’s When the Sky Breaks 3D weave a radiant and essential story, moving beyond narrative dance and into an abstract world where environment is infused, challenged, and released through the body.
When the Sky Breaks 3D is directed by Jennifer Weber and choreographed and performed by The Deca Crew: Megan “Megz” Alfonso, Ann-sylvia Clark, Lucile “Frak” Graciano, Taeko Koji, Casandra “Defy” Rivera, and Adaku Utah.
The performance is set in an urban landscape with 3D visuals by Holly Daggers, reflecting city streets, buildings, and fences, transforming and morphing the physical environment by the elements and the rising and setting sun. DJ Boo keeps the beat and the energy high, creating a musical immersion into the world when the sky breaks.
The Deca Crew is a force of talent – One moment they float, fluid as water, moving as ethereal poems. The next, they hit the ground, fearless and strong, determined to feel absolute gravity. Their love of movement and of dance is infectious. The audience was completely spellbound by their abilities and their powerful individual and collective work.
Wearing b-boy style street clothes (jeans, sneakers, button down shirts), this all-female crew plays against the stereotype of women in hip-hop, blurring the divide between men and women, redefining gender and image in dance, and breaking past these rapidly changing constructs.
The Deca Crew celebrates diversity as well as individuality. These women are powerful, strong, and beautiful. They are not hiding nor exploiting their femaleness – they are simply evoking a strong sense of self, of personhood. They are speaking through the body in its most essential places, and the entire experience was exciting, provocative, and moving.
It is difficult to relate the experience of being in the audience during this show. When the Sky Breaks 3D is a story told through dance, through the movement of body. I felt the story – images, impressions, emotions – much more than I could ever put into words. Dance is a medium of Art inherently difficult to express through written language because it is so rooted in the language of the body.
Yet, I understood the story. I felt the struggle and the liberation in the expanse of life itself. I felt the confines of environment and our internal and external worlds, and the need for connection and community. I felt the opening up after so much struggle, the pure exhilaration and replenishment of our energies as we come together, manifest dreams, and wake up to the experience of being truly alive.
The choreography of When the Sky Breaks 3D is nothing short of amazing. Several scenes stand out in my mind – one in particular is a scene where the dancers are fighting. At first two, then four, in a syncopated expression of movement; they struggle against each other, and ultimately themselves. The movements are strong and forceful, falling and rising, breaking apart and coming together – mirroring so many different struggles within our lives. The audience held its breath until the final resolution, as the dancers stood in unity together under the threatening sky.
There were so many beautiful and visceral moments; this show felt like a journey. At the end, the audience was on its feet with thunderous applause, feeling the energy and power of the performance; whistling, clapping, and cheering as each dancer moved to the forefront, moved to express such gratitude for the experience, for the individual and collective talents of The Deca Crew, and for this stunning work of Art.
When the Sky Breaks 3D