Dance has always been a venue for displaying the human condition. But until Sean Dorsey came to the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, many of us didn’t realize that we viewed dance in a traditional masculine/feminine way.
We had seen Pittsburgh native Kyle Abraham make his homosexuality a major part of his choreography in an oblique way with great success. Dorsey was more direct in The Secret History of Love, using a recorded history of homosexual love stories to accompany the movement, although it almost bordered on a lecture/demonstration.
And while Abraham’s style embraced a more contemporary feel, drawn from a street-inspired dance vocabulary, Dorsey presented clean, traditional modern dance with a heavy overlay of ballet technique.
Abraham was always masculine in his approach to the movement, but Dorsey allowed his dancers to shed that. They remained in touch with their own skins as they moved, forming a comfort zone that was honest and grounded. There wasn’t a lot of artistic surprise here, something that sets Abraham’s work apart, but no matter. The audience was happy to see and hear their own stories on the stage and touch the deep emotional content to be had.