Gibney Dance | Cynthia Oliver
Lela I do not know personally, but have seen her work via panels on which I have been a part and have found her work to be deeply intriguing—the way she investigates and plays with notions of installation, performance art, and choreography.
The Philadelphia Sun | Norma Porter
The late, great Nina Simone once said that an artist’s duty is to reflect the times, and Lela Aisha Jones and her company FlyGround reflected the brutal history of African Americans and the residual manifestation of years of racism. [...]
The piece lacked a sense of the subtle, watered-down intent that oftentimes accompanies racial discourse, whether artistic or conversational.
Gibney Dance | Infinite Body | Eva Yaa Asantewaa
Everything in Plight Release is made or selected by Jones and her team with utmost care...set and props (which we encounter and interact with first), lighting and shadows, costuming, music and, finally, dancing of ritualistic rigor and beauty. There's nothing done by rote or imitation. Jones finds her own ways to employ symbols, gestures, dance steps. The effect is to be welcomed into a gracious home and sacred space, treated with respect and, at every moment, feel yourself to be in the presence of someone with clarity about what she's doing and why she's doing it. You simply relax.
The Dance Journal | Chrysta Brown
While Philadelphia has been good for Jones, it cannot be denied that our local community has benefited from her work and presence here.
Her dance contributions include several youth performing arts residencies and workshops, as well FlyGround, her own choreographic project, and The Requisite Movers, which she co-founded with Deneane Richburg.
Thinking Dance | Lisa Kraus
There’s no guess work here; all is explicit. Jones’ style is to play image after image, some short, for an amalgam of impressions of continuing injustice.
It’s like a newsreel. The one thing we can infer, that we are not told directly, is that this is art as a call to action.
Such literalness, like photo-realist painting, tells you exactly what it’s addressing, not wading into the more nebulous realms of art. It’s on the opposite end of the spectrum of work that doesn’t offer handholds.