Breakout Stars of 2020


In 2018, Kali Uchis released a debut album titled “Isolation.” Apparently she was ahead of her time. In November, the Colombian-American artist – with a moody, seductive, dance-provoking style – dropped his second studio album, this time predominantly in Spanish, “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios).” (Its lead single, “Aquí Yo Mando,” features upcoming rapper Rico Nasty.) The album “goes genre jumping and era jumping, from romantic retro orchestral bolero to brittle reggaeton,” Jon Pareles, chief pop music critic of The Times, wrote this month.

Growing up between Colombia and the DC-Maryland-Virginia area, Uchis, 26, had many inspirations and influences, she told the magazine Interview. “The last thing I ever want to do is be a predictable artist. I love that my fans never know what to expect when I release a song. ”


It was not just that the corona virus stopped the live performance in March. The need for social isolation pulled out all parts of what gets a dance on stage: Suddenly there were no more classes, no more rehearsals. How do I fill that void? Solo.

This solitary form has provided an outlet for frustration, sadness and even for euphoria as dancers continue to find meaning through movement. It is true that some attempts have been sentimental and goalless, but very good ones have also emerged from it. Instagram initially highlighted these explorations in a steady stream of posts; choreographers worked with dancers at a distance to create films where the body could be fearless and free. “State of Darkness”, Molissa Fenley’s solo from 1988 revived for seven dancers, was a glittering, outrageous reminder of the performance that comes from strength, both internally and externally.

One of its interpreters, dancer Sara Mearns, said she saw herself as “someone who has been through really, really difficult times, but has since come out stronger and on top.” Yes, dance and dancers are suffering right now. But solo has given it – and them – a powerful voice. – Gia Kourlas, dance critic for The New York Times