ENMU to present step dance performance

By Zuo Yang: Freedom New Mexico

Slam poetry, modern dance, rap, South African gumboot and other music genres are colliding in a performance an organizer says will make the audience want to tap a foot.

Eastern New Mexico University is set to present a step-dance performance named “Raw Footage” Thursday. The event is free and open to the public.

“Raw Footage is a 75-minute show that includes elements of Guerilla Theater, slam poetry, African-American stepping, modern dance, tap, South African gumboot, rap and singing,” said Kate Carr, an instructor of voice at ENMU. “The show was written and choreographed by Jason Nious, founder of the entertainment company Molodi, which will be performing it.”

Molodi was created to perform shows like Raw Footage and provide educational tours to teach young students the art of African-American stepping and to encourage individuality and self-awareness, Carr said.

Nious is expected to perform along with three of the other four members of the troupe: Antwan Davis, Chris Rutledge and Harmony Costa. The fourth member, Khalid Freeman, is on an international tour with Stomp.

“We are expecting to bring some brand new things to Portales. It’s definitely a lot of fun, and we hope the audience get the humor and enjoy it,” Nious said.

According to the group’s website, Molodi infuses itself into audience members, who suddenly realize that instead of watching the show, they are part of the show.

“It will make everyone want to tap their feet and wish they were as coordinated and rhythmically inclined as the performers.” Carr said in a news release.

Molodi’s performance at ENMU is a part of their tour in New Mexico. Nious contacted Carr to arrange this show.

President Steven Gamble’s office is funding the majority of the show because, according to Carr, the president felt it would be enriching to the students and he had seen many step competitions while he was president at Southern Arkansas University.

Also, Molodi is scheduled to stop at Melrose Municipal Schools as part of their educational tour on to perform for the students Wednesday. They plan to start the school show in the old high school gym at 1:45 p.m.