On Stage: Catching up with Kyle

Kyle AbrahamYes, Kyle Abraham is coming homing to a spot on the Pittsburgh Dance Council season, the first time a local company/choreographer has been featured since the Dance Alloy initially broke the PDC barrier in 2002 when the company was under the directorship of Mark Taylor.

It was a calculated risk — Kyle was generating some interest. But the PDC series strikes a delicate dance balance between the edgy and the established. At the time he was scheduled, Kyle had a raw quality. But his learning curve shot upwards in the ensuing year or so, making PDC executive director Paul Organisak look like a dance visionary.

Kyle Abraham is zigzagging around the country these days — Florida, Minnesota, back to Florida(!)  — before he returns to his hometown this weekend (see Listings).

Things are happening so fast, including nearly $500,000 in grants from United States Artists, New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist, Jacob’s Pillow,  that he has barely had time to digest it all.  And he’s only on his third major production, Pavement, which the New York Times’ Brian Seibert said   “expresses confusion with searching eloquence.”

But Kyle has barely had time to digest it all the attention. While those in the know are well aware of him, he appreciates the fact that “nobody knows who I am” while he’s on tour. Spoken like a true Pittsburgh native, he retains a certain modesty in face of all the acclaim.

The Pavement project has six men and one women. This one marks his return to classical music (he studied piano and cello). And it focuses on Homewood and the Hill District and the gangs that constructed parallel lives there.

While the company tours Pavement, Kyle focuses on the day-to-day details of building a company — how to replace dancers who move or have children, how to schedule time to pay the bills.

And still have a life.

But not one to sit on his laurels, Kyle has a need to fill his spare time. So he brings the dancers into the studio to work on whatever comes next because “I’m really in love with dance right now.”

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