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Hit the Beat with Baltimore Beatboxer Shodekeh

Hit the Beat with Baltimore Beatboxer Shodekeh

Meet Shodekeh and his collaborator Krysia Bock

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Taking a break from Pump Me Up to get ready for NOW Performance with Shodekeh, Wednesday, March 13, 7 p.m. It’s FREE.

Photo by Philip Edward Laubner

Photo by Philip Edward Laubner

Seven things you didn’t know about Baltimore beatboxer Shodekeh

By Allie O’Hora

1. Shodekeh (SHO-de-kay) is his middle name.  The name is Nigerian in origin and means “warrior/one who fights for what he believes in.”

2. He’s an interdisciplinary artist by nature who finds inspiration for his work in all different kinds of art and performance. “Music does not have to be a medium that exists purely in sound, just as the visual arts don’t strictly have to be something you see with your eye.  It can be something musical or something physical.”
Shodekeh recommends the documentary Dark Light: The Art of Blind Photographers.

3. He is basically a human Lyre bird. He says he started out beatboxing as a child, trying to emulate the noises his toys made, and went from there. “Now…”  He imitates the noise of a chainsaw, then slowly transforms the sound into a throbbing beat.

4. He can beatbox along with anything. Even classical violinist Sirina Huang:

5. He likes to explore the limits of the senses in his work, which can occasionally be hazardous. In his Blind Orbit exercise, which he frequently performs in student workshops, a blindfolded dancer moves in a circle around him, responding to his rhythmic and percussive vocalizations without the benefit of a visual reference point. A successful workshop, he says, is one where the dancer doesn’t crash into him.

6. He has a synesthetic approach to his music and sees shapes when he beatboxes.

7. He describes pairing shapes with sounds almost as a memory trick: “I think it gives me access to being able to recreate that sound,” he explains.   In his work with Corcoran students, he hopes to create concrete form from his vocalizations through improvisation and performance, as the dancers do in this performance from Shen Wei Dance Arts.

…and Three about krysia bock

By Mark Swartz

Shodekeh’s collaborator, choreographer Krysia (/KRISH-a/) Bock, promises, “Breath, voice, movement, and visual arts will be combined into a nice little package. We’ll move the audience into a new space.” Here are few things to know about Krysia:

1. This isn’t her first time collaborating with Shodekeh. They worked together in 2010 on “Dorsal Exposure” for the New Steps Choreographer’s Showcase.

2. She’s certified in both pilates and yoga (she trained in Goa, India), and now she’s taking courses at George Mason in preparation for a graduate degree in physical therapy. She explains, “Giving people a movement experience is really important. Physical therapy is a way to that. It helps me understand how the body works.”

3. She’s inspired by the Gaga movement—and its founder, Ohed Naharin. As Krysia explains, “You’re experiencing what’s happening in your own body. There’s something very raw and animalistic about it—something you don’t get from watching a ballerina.”

Shodekeh and Krysia perform this Wednesday night at the Corcoran. Also happening is Corcoran Uncorked. So stop in for drinks from Ted’s Bulletin and Cookies & Corks, check out the Gallery (open late!), then settle in for an amazing performance. Everything starts at 6 p.m., Shodekeh starts at 7 p.m.