GO: Keo Woolford in "I Land"
--Eva Yaa Asantewaa

A dancer friend of mine tells me she thinks Keo Woolford (of the autobiographical one-man show, "I Land") is a John Leguizamo wannabe. I can see some of that, but the brilliantly talented Woolford has far more charm and opens a window onto an experience and perspective that is less familiar to us. My friend and I agree on one thing: It would be great to see more of his dancing.

The 90-minute piece, directed by Roberta Uno, runs through Sunday at The Culture Project. It traces the ups and downs of Woolford's youth in Hawaii and touches on his development as a student and performer of the ancient, authentic hula--a sacred dance of dignity and focused power.

Woolford's acting is a full-bodied affair--storytelling amplified by body language and gesture: nonstop movement, really--including choreography by Robert Cazimero (hula) and Rokafella (hip hop). It spans the range of human emotions, and when it is funny, it is very funny indeed.

Let's hope that Woolford will return to New York soon. In the meantime, if you'd like to try to catch this show, click on The Culture Project or Ma-Yi Theatre.

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