DramaNew YorkReview

Embodi(ED) – HERE Arts Center, New York

Writers: Dinae Enderson-Ruano, Maria Diez, Jordan Fleming, Allison Lee Flom, Me’Khai Lewis, Katie Looney, Veronica Lowry, Ashleigh C. Ricci, Madeline Shaffer, Megan Sideropoulos, Nina Tandilashvili, Annalise Wedemeyer

Director: Ashley Marinaccio

Reviewer: Maridee Slater

There’s a revolution happening, and it’s gaining traction with the help of Girl Be Heard. How do you critique a movement? How does one write about Girl Be Heard and their incredible work without simply gushing a love letter to their cause? Write about the work. Embodi(ED) is one of myriad shows Girl Be Heard has to offer. Written and developed by the ensemble, this powerhouse cabaret piece is an eclectic assault on the issues we face, as humans, in relation to our bodies.

There’s no shortage of talent or heart in this evening of empowerment. From the music of the band Yes Daddy, Thank You to the delightful snap-clapping What You Can Do In 21 Minutes, the community that is built over the course of the evening is a powerful one. A palpable sense of electricity ignites the air.

Comprised of around twenty-five short pieces, Embodi(ED) is a reminder of the power of storytelling in its many forms. Each of these pieces is a dart with a clear focus on the bulls-eye. In Society Presents, Jordan Fleming stands out as a raw and hilarious up and coming young voice. A senior in high school, Ms. Fleming holds herself with an ancient wisdom that carries the air around her.

The musical pieces from this show need to be recorded! Katie Looney has an especially memorable song reminiscent of the early Ani DiFranco albums, sung from the points of view of an eating disorder and a lover. The previously mentioned What You Can Do In 21 Minutes could have come out of the movie Pitch Perfect.

Director Ashley Marinaccio does a wonderful job of weaving these stories together without getting in the way of what the event itself wants to be. With so many voices represented on stage, there is the risk of confusion and hiccups; in the case of Embodi(ED), they culminated in a chorus.

Not only is this evening of theatre enchanting, and essential to the global conversation, it’s fun. The audience is perhaps the youngest collective this reviewer has ever witnessed. As one girl said in the post show talk back, for which everyone stayed, “I feel like my voice was on that stage.” These are stories that stick with you, enlighten you, and make you look at the structures of our Capitalism differently. A brief running time of just over an hour, this show leaves you hungry for more.

Reviewed on 18th February 2016

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