Johnson Reagon; and book- Jacqueline Woodson? This combination proved fantastic in Zinnias: The Life of Clementine Hunter at Peak Performances January 26 – February 3. Hunter, we learn, is one of the most important African American artists of the 20th century; Hunter’s story is told through Wilson’s urban opera. A haunting and powerful spirit/angel (Sheryl Sutton), possibly Hunter in another body, entered in a full black dress, hair pulled back severely to a point, and glides across the front of the stage (the curtain is down) to the other side, takes what seemed like an inauspicious step down, eyes darting and flickering until she finally sits on a rocking chair to assume her ritual of measured hand gestures. Wilson’s larger than life set, complimented by the colors of Hunter’s style soon changes the mood and one by one, the introductions begin. Clementine (in a bright blue dress with white flowers) introduces herself and then the others, also dressed in the lively colors of Hunter’s works. For this dance writer, the actor’s movement was interesting, (their animated mannerisms throughout, for example), but one of the most exciting part of the evening was the high energy zydeco section where dancing was the thing. Huge kudos to the Reagon women (mother and daughter), for the fantastic zydeco, blues, spiritual and southern roots music that knocked us out all evening.
Peak Performances also boasts lots of dance performances, check this link: http://www.peakperfs.org/