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New play depicts community that does not understand artists' creativity

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A new production by Troika opens at City Hall Theatre next week.

'Misunderstood' centres around a group of artists whose community doesn't appreciate their creativity.

The production's director, Lawrence Floyd, wrote the play with assistance from the Troika Players.

The play incorporates music and dance with the help of choreographer Zalika (Zazi) Millett and musical director Leroy Francis.

“It's been an interesting process, choreographing for a concept that was still in the making,” Ms Millett said.

“I had to choreograph pieces with no idea of music, just a conceptual sketch. So before starting, I'd always pray first. And when I'd present a finished product, the directors and players were always pleased. God is good!”

Each musical piece is well connected with the layering storylines, she said. Modern dance, jazz, hip hop and ballet are used to portray certain details without having to verbalise them.

One of her challenges? Most of the Troika Players were not dancers.

“I taught everyone the movement; and to see non-dancers grow within the choreography was extremely rewarding,” Ms Millett said.

She collaborated with Mr Floyd, who lives in New York, and Canadian set artist Ryan MacKeen, on the production. Its producers are Seldon Woolridge and Shoa Bean.

The Troika Players are Aalai Wolffe, Ashley Riley, Chelsea Warren, Chyann Harris, Chyone Harris, Coy Millett, Donnae Norford, Haley Raynor, Jadiyah Bailey, Jasmine Trott, Jazz Shiell, John Seymour, Kameron Burgess, Kevina Davis, Kioshi Burgess, Lashuntae Augustus, Malachi Johnston, Mia A Williams, Naasson Swan, Quincee' K Dill, Rachael Waldron, Sacha Dill, Shaloi Duncan, Shana Parker, Shayna Simons, Teionnae Burgess and Zianna Rubaine.

Ms Bean said the play centres around a community that doesn't appreciate the arts.

“While examining the intersection of life and death, friendship and adversity, hope and conflict, this riveting theatrical choreoplay with music, is about a group of forsaken students who look for their purpose and meaning in a world that seems to only want to confine their dreams and passions,” she explained.

Ms Millett got involved with Troika after seeing a show the group put on last year.

She began studying dance seriously at the age of 14 at United Dance Productions. She began teaching at the school two years later, and continues to teach there.

She later studied modern dance at Philadelphia's University of the Arts.

“I've studied ballet, modern, jazz, tap, African, hip hop, and in university [the Japanese court dance] kabuki, although African is my favourite.”

Misunderstood offers something for everyone, she added.

“It really targets issues that many of Bermuda's young people are facing; things that are publicly known, and things hidden,” she said. “Youngsters and adults alike will enjoy the show, and be able to relate.”

General admission tickets are $30 advance, $40 at the door. Donor/patron tickets are $50. Tickets are available at the City Hall box office from 10am to 4pm daily.

The show starts at 8pm nightly. There is a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.

For more pictures, click

here.

TROIKA gave the City of Hamilton a quick preview of their show Mis Understood yesterday afternoon in front of City Hall. Front Jasmin Trott dancing during yesterdays performance. (Photo by Akil Simmons) August 16,2011
TROIKA gave the City of Hamilton a quick preview of their show Mis Understood yesterday afternoon in front of City Hall. (Photo by Akil Simmons) August 16,2011
TROIKA gave the City of Hamilton a quick preview of their show Mis Understood yesterday afternoon in front of City Hall. Front Jasmin Trott dancing during yesterdays performance. (Photo by Akil Simmons) August 16,2011
TROIKA gave the City of Hamilton a quick preview of their show Mis Understood yesterday afternoon in front of City Hall. (Photo by Akil Simmons) August 16,2011
TROIKA gave the City of Hamilton a quick preview of their show Mis Understood yesterday afternoon in front of City Hall. (Photo by Akil Simmons) August 16,2011
TROIKA gave the City of Hamilton a quick preview of their show Mis Understood yesterday afternoon in front of City Hall. (Photo by Akil Simmons) August 16,2011
TROIKA gave the City of Hamilton a quick preview of their show Mis Understood yesterday afternoon in front of City Hall. (Photo by Akil Simmons) August 16,2011
TROIKA gave the City of Hamilton a quick preview of their show Mis Understood yesterday afternoon in front of City Hall. (Photo by Akil Simmons) August 16,2011

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Published August 17, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated August 17, 2011 at 10:02 am)

New play depicts community that does not understand artists' creativity

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