Störling Dance Theater readies for ‘Underground’ again.
Collaborators Jeremiah Enna, Mona Störling-Enna and Tobin James are again uniting to share the story of a runaway slave, making her way north via the Underground Railroad in the dance performance titled “Underground.” The show will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at the Music Hall. Jeremiah is the executive director of the Culture House and Störling Dance Theater. His wife, Mona, is the artistic director and James is the assistant artistic director.
Mona says the ballet’s main character Victoria, played by James, must leave her children behind. “I am really pleased with the depth,” Jeremiah says. With dance, there are abstract moments and moments that may seem larger than life. Mona says one powerful scene stays with her as a runaway slave’s body is dragged through a ball scene. Jeremiah says dance can freeze a moment and allow expression to sweep from the stage and into the audience. “As the main character, Tobin gets to connect with her anger and grief. “There is something powerful that dance can convey in telling stories.”
Now the group has decided to make this performance the launch for a larger vision that might be a yearlong project to include lectures and exhibitions. “We had the seed of hope that the show would be good and well received. We were encouraged by the response and three other cities have approached us to perform. We know people are flying in to see the show,” Jeremiah says.
Jeremiah says he is glad to share this hopeful, inspiring production again. “People are hungry for a relevant, positive resolution toward our history. We have to go forward as Americans. We will perform this work in February, which is traditionally seen as African-American history month. I really believe it is American history month. It might be a dark history, but we need to know about this,” he says. “People appreciate the story. It is a brutal part of our history, but good persevered. We have to be united toward doing good things.”