Let My People Go in Dance

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Reggie Wilsons Fist and Heel Dance Company bring 'Moses(es)' to Cal Performances (Photo: Peggy Woolsey/Fist and Heel Performance Group)

The African American choreographer Reggie Wilson never seems satisfied with one idea or theme in his work. His dance Moses(es), performed Sept. 23 and 24 at Zellerbach Hall, is about the African diaspora, with music based on clapping and chants developed by Wilson and his collaborators. But it's also an exploration of ideas about the biblical prophet Wilson explored during trips he took to Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Mali, and the urge to dramatize Zora Neale Hurston's novel Moses, Man of the Mountain, which sets the story in the African American experience.

What color was Moses, Wilson wondered in a phone interview, and what do we learn from his story about how to govern a people? "The story is very much the story of Hammurabai, it's the story of Jesus, it’s the story of leadership, it’s the story of a President leading or not leading a country, about how do we choose a leader, about why do certain individuals decide to get behind a particular leader or not." Deatils for the show are here.