2015 Capital Fringe Festival Preview #31: ‘Wrestling with the WIP’ by Nicole Y. McClam

From birth stories and mother/daughter relationships to Black Velveteen and badassness: Wrestling with the WIP seeks to create woman in her own image. Wrestling with the WIP premiered last October in the Fall Thesis Concert at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and we are honored that it will be reprised as part of the 10th Annual Capital Fringe Festival.

Wrestling with the WIP is a full-length, dance theatre performance comprised of several vignettes loosely based on the choreographer’s, Nicole Y. McClam, life and inspired by the process of quilt-making: fragmentation, repurposing, and (re)arranging. The vignettes describe any woman’s journey of self-discovery, awareness and agency as she navigates the intertwining and often conflicting roles of femininity, motherhood, and race.

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Accompanied by rock music, ambient sound and conversations with the McClam’s mother and daughter, Wrestling with the WIP will be an immersive experience in its latest incarnation. It will take place not just on stage at the Cafritz Foundation Theatre at Dance Place, but in the lobby, amongst the audience, and in secluded alcoves, encouraging the audience to move with and participate with the dancers.

The performance features dancers Rita Kelly Burns, Stacey Yvonne Claytor, Dandrea Johnson, Shanna Lim, Ciarra Phillip, and Jessica Plaskon; Lighting Design by Alberto Segarra; Sound Design by Jeffrey Dorfman; Costume Design by Nicole Y. McClam; and Sam Reilly as Stage Manager.

“The story that came across to me was the daughter trying to transition into becoming an adult and the mother struggling to let her go.  I connected to this part of the dance because it reminded me of my relationship with my mother… The mother is fearful of her daughter becoming independent… [T]hese…are reflective of my own relationship with my mom.  As I am transitioning into becoming an adult I have made countless mistakes and need the support of my mom who is always there to catch me when I fall [AH]”.

“I could sense the agony and pain of having to conform to this ideal beauty and by throwing herself against the mirror, the dancer was expressing this agony, hatred and displeasure. But it came full circle when one of the dancers stopped, and embraced the other female dancer so as to say, don’t do this to yourself, it is unnecessary [MB]”.

“struggle a woman goes through in appearing beautiful, blemish-free, thin, tall without imperfection [MB].

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Dance Place: Cafritz Foundation Theater
3225 8th Street NE, IN Washington, DC, 20017

Tuesday, 7/14 at 6:00 PM
Sunday, 7/19 at 12:15 PM
Wednesday, 7/22 at 7:35 PM
Friday, 7/24 at 5:45 PM
Sunday, 7/26 at 5:00 PM




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