Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: Abby Z & The New Utility at Dance Place

'Radioactive Practice' is "a genre-bending work that brings together a mosaic group of dancers."

In 2017, Abby Zbikowkski won a Juried Bessie Award, the dance field’s most prestigious honors, in recognition of what the panel called her “unique and utterly authentic movement vocabulary in complex and demanding structures to create works of great energy, intensity, surprise, and danger.”

That’s all certainly on the agenda when her company performs at Dance Place on the last weekend of June.

The focus is on Radioactive Practice, described as “a genre-bending work that brings together a mosaic group of dancers,” all striving to “shatter assumptions of established forms and test the group’s own physical and mental limits.”

The cast features Alex Gossen, Kashia Kancey, Fiona Lundie, Jennifer Meckley, Benjamin Roach, and Jinsei Sato, who will draw from their individual and collective skills with dance styles as varied as hip-hop, post-modern dance, contemporary African forms, and tap, plus non-dance athletics including synchronized swimming, soccer, and martial arts.

All that will factor into a full-length dance work said to embody contemporary life, “chock full of cultural collisions, unlikely relationships, minor-to-major misunderstandings, a desire for logic, and being hard-wired to survive.”

And all of it will play out to a score by Raphael Xavier equally maximalistic in approach, offering “a collision of genres drawing inspirations from hip-hop, punk, metal, and no wave.”

If Radioactive Practice actually comes across as even more hyper and kinetic in performance than it sounds on paper, you might chalk it up to the fact the work’s premiere was delayed for over two years.

That’s an especially long time for a company like Abby Z and the New Utility to be sitting idle on the sidelines.

Saturday, June 25, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 26, at 4 p.m. 3225 8th St. NE.

Tickets are offered in pay-what-you-can options up to $100. Call 202-269-1600 or visit

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