For Black History Month, The BLACK Magazine would like to highlight a recent cultural experience that sets the underground realm of the city apart from the mainstream crowd. Conkrete Jungle Productions, a performing arts company founded by Régine Bellinger gave face, rhythm and a whole lot of attitude last month at their showcase which was held in one of the city’s finest local theaters, Dixon Place. What was thought to be a show depicting a variety of dance numbers, turned out to be a story told through acting, spoken word and interpretive dance with a variety of other dance styles and art forms. Now you see why we called it an experience! What was most interesting was that the company showcases a diverse group of artists who come from all ethnicities and backgrounds, yet still embodied reenactments of black history and relived the stories of individuals all throughout the African Diaspora in captivating ways.
At one point in the show, as two women told a story through spoken word and movement the question “Why do you run from what’s inside your head?” flashed before the screen which left an open thought in the atmosphere. What are we truly running from in this concrete jungle called New York City? How do we express the beauty spilling out of cracks of our concrete walls and iron gardens? How do we face the challenges of being different in a city when everyone is “different?” Conkrete Jungle Productions has given us quite a few answers to these questions.
Who else can make you think about peace after seeing a solo number done by a heartfelt artist in a lace dress engulfed by blue set lights filled with sorrow and patience. At what other show could hip hop, ballet and West African dance intertwine so smoothly without being questioned? Want to get involved with the experience? Conkrete Jungle will definitely leave you thinking if there is anything an underground performer in New York City CAN’T do. Get in the mix: Visit: Conkrete Jungle Productions & Tumblr.com