Two Programs of Contemporary Dance & Theater by Women from Africa
"The complex mixture of longing, regrets, hopes and frustrations played out on stage speaks to an understanding of friendship and female solidarity which will be immediately recognizable to everyone."
--Deutsche Welle, Germany
Voices of Strength is a two-evening showcase of the stylistic diversity of contemporary dance across the African continent. From dance rooted in and connected to tradition, to cutting-edge performance that makes satirical use of classical conventions, this collection of female choreographers employs humor, irony, poignancy, and power. Referencing personal obstacles as well as political and social themes, they articulate women's struggles toward empowerment through their dances.
Correspondances, choreographed by Kettly Noël (Haiti/Mali) and Nelisiwe Xaba (South Africa)
A lively and sophisticated duet that is part theater, part dance, and part storytelling, Noël and Xaba come together for a raucous conversation that addresses the intimate fabric of friendship while exploring themes of race, culture, and gender.
Quartiers Libres, choreographed by Nadia Beugré (Côte d'Ivoire)
Are there places we do not have the right to explore? And if we do go inside them, what can we do there, what happens to us? This solo work explores and reveals these forbidden, secluded, secret spaces, in which we choose to wander: expressive spaces of submission and revelation. A former member of the stunning all-female Compagnie TchéTché, Beugré leads the way for a new generation of contemporary choreographers from Côte d'Ivoire.
Timing: Correspondances - 50 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Quartiers Libres - 40 min.
Sombra (Shadow), choreographed by Maria Helena Pinto (Mozambique)
This stark and poignant solo gives voice and light to the hidden women of our societies. In a harrowing landscape of overturned buckets, and with a bucket on top of her head both obscuring her vision and keeping the viewer from seeing her face, Pinto imagines women who are central to life but exist in shadow.
Madame Plaza, choreographed by Bouchra Ouizguen (Morocco)
Performed with three traditional Aïta vocalists whose custom includes guttural wailing and incantation, Madame Plaza is a powerful merging of bodies with song. In Morocco, the Aïta are paradoxically the object of admiration, fantasy, and also contemptuous rejection. Their artistry is often classified as folklore, but their presence is immediately and profoundly contemporary.
Timing: Sombra - 25 min.; Intermission - 20 min.; Madame Plaza - 50 min.
Curated and Produced by MAPP International Productions in partnership with The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium.
Explore the Arts: On October 4, join a free post-performance discussion with a moderator and members of the company.
The presentation of Voices of Strength is made possible by the
MetLife Community Connections Fund of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project.
Major support for NDP is also provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Created and Produced by MAPP International Productions in partnership with
The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium
International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the
Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.
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