From segregation to police brutality, from school shootings to immigration, Green’s Theatre and Dance company ‘Techmoja,’ has been highlighting these uncomfortable, important and triggering issues since its inception in 2009. “My goal is to make the unseen visible, to humanize the often dehumanized and to present a visual display of a situation,” explains Green.
Exploring particular events and/or issues through the lens of the people involved is integral to his work. Plowing through hours of interviews and relevant footage to ground the portrayal in authentic experiences is vital to Greens’ creative process. Oftentimes a specific image or detail will be the starting point for his choreography, which may be layered with cultural symbolism, live music, video footage, and informative sound bites creating a multi-media fusion that is as deeply moving as it is thought provoking.
Green has experienced racial bias, both subtle and overt throughout his life. In terms of recognizing the local need to establish a new kind of company, a particularly influential moment occurred when Green was invited to perform a solo to Mr. Bojangles on the steps of Bellamy Mansion right here in Wilmington. Facing the old slave quarters and dancing for a predominately white audience, Green vowed that no one in his company would ever be subjected to the feeling of minstrelsy that he experienced that day.
"Kevin Lee-y Green has been a force on Wilmington’s theater and dance scene since he was a kid, performing in and choreographing multiple shows for both his company, Techmoja Dance & Theatre Co., and others.
“We’ve done a lot in Wilmington,” Green said. “But I just wanted to expand and test my work in a different city.”
To that end, Green has been seeking opportunities outside the Port City, and in March he took seven of his dancers to New York to perform at Dixon Place in Manhattan as part of the quarterly 8 in Show series, which gives emerging and established choreographers the chance to showcase new, 5- to 12-minute pieces. Since the 1980s, Dixon Place has been known as a spot for incubating new works, and such artists as Blue Man Group and John Leguizamo began their careers there…"
"Dancers move with grace upon the seemingly bare stage at Thalian Hall, ebbing and flowing with one another in perfect fluidity. Suddenly, the dancers are motionless on the ground, as sounds of ambulance sirens and 9-1-1 calls rise from the stillness. Footage of reporters on the scene of a shooting flash across the screen from the back of the stage. A steady increasing heartbeat can be heard as an EKG pulse streaks from one end of the room to the other. A single dancer rises with her arms crossed; the chaotic footage fades away, only to be replaced by a sea of 49 faces. They are the people who were killed when a security guard opened fire upon the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016…"
"Green returns as director and choreographer, more mature than the 22-year-old who started his own company in an effort to create more opportunities for black performers on Wilmington stages.
Over the past four years, Techmoja has staged nearly a dozen full productions. From the beginning, Green’s choices have been ambitious."