Individuality and Uniqueness

​Review of Black Bois by Dani Tirrell at On the Boards. Written by TeenTix Press Corps Member Mayyadah Z!

Black Bois Ishisaka 6460 Edit Web

This performance was very moving for me because the social issues that were brought up are happening in our world right now. I loved that throughout the piece the dancers got a chance to scream as loud as they could and let out all their anger from the injustices they experience everyday of their lives. I have not experienced the prejudice these people have, but I know how terribly they have been treated and how unfair it is that just because of the color of their skin they are treated differently.

Throughout the piece the dancers also shared stories of those who have died from not just police brutality but also from suicide. They also shed light on much less mentioned stories such as those of black trans men and women who have died that aren’t in the news as much. The whole show was supporting individuality and uniqueness which was so amazing to see. In today’s society we are taught that a certain body type or sexuality is ideal, but there isn’t an ideal person in my opinion. Everyone should appreciate and celebrate their differences, rather than putting down themselves and others because of them.

Another very apparent and important piece of this performance was the recurrence of circles and lines. All throughout the dancing, the performers kept coming back to a circle—in this circle it seemed as if there was no one else there. It truly felt like they were expressing themselves and accepting themselves as who they are. A circle is also well-known for a meaning of community and supportiveness and that was very important throughout the whole piece. They also formed lines, but these were different from normal lines facing the front. These lines faced corners diagonally, which indicated that this piece of art wasn’t made for the audience— it was made for the dancers and they weren’t looking for your approval. This was a chance for them to express their own individual selves, and they took that opportunity and ran with it.

The dancers fought the ideas of certain stereotypes such as black people being more dangerous and more violent. The director came about it in a comical way so it was funny, but also made you realize the many things you may have assumed about black people. The idea that men were made to love and not fight was also mentioned. This was an interesting stereotype to bring up, and it made me think about how women are allowed to show their emotions and be friendly with each other, but when men do it people assume they are gay or weak. It is interesting to me how people are treated so differently just because of their gender.

Overall, I really enjoyed this performance and I would definitely recommend that everyone go see it. It was one of the most meaningful dance performances that I’ve ever attended because it both sparked a conversation about stereotypes and had amazing choreography.


The TeenTix Press Corps promotes critical thinking, communication, and information literacy through criticism and journalism practice for teens. For more information about the Press Corps program see HERE.

This review was written as part of the Adventures in Contemporary American Culture workshop which was produced in partnership with On the Boards. It was edited by performance critic Omar Willey, and TeenTix Press Corps Manager Mariko Nagashima.

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