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FACE 2 FACE Experiences of Africa

February 6, 2015

 

Vincent Mantsoe performs NTU, Photograph by Lynn Chaulieu Kolver

Vincent Mantsoe performs NTU, Photograph by Lynn Chaulieu Kolver

They’re powerful and passionate and take us into the heart of African experience. Face 2 Face, the Ottawa National Arts Centre’s third edition of intimate thematic dance, is a series of half a dozen works by four dancers/companies created and inspired by the life and culture of Africa.

Each performer tells us their story from individual experience in their home countries:

Faustin Linyekula, originally from Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo, opens a door into his native village, reeling us into an intimate world with Le Cargo, a performance built on rhythmic threads of voice, song and compelling movement. An international storyteller and choreographer, Linyekula takes us curiously and gently by the hand as he walks his private pathway in search of a romantic idea of dance rooted in his childhood.

Leading South-African choreographer Vincent Mantsoe first performed his NTU (Nothing) in Ottawa 10 years ago. Set to bewitching classical Persian music by Hamayoun Shajarian and the Dastan Ensemble, Mantsoe’s half-hour work about the creative power of the human spirit highlights his fluid, graceful body. His commanding presence takes us into his private struggle of searching and anguish. He moves adeptly from controlled slow-motion to driving staccato to full-throttle energy that leaves a trail of sweat on the stage.

Bienvenue Bazié of Burkina Faso and Jennifer Dallas, a native of the Canadian Rockies and the artistic director of the Toronto-based Kemi Contemporary Dance Projects, collaborate in a cross-cultural duet, Idiom, that is enchanting and innocent, and yet insistent. The pair look for common voice, allowing their limbs to find a mirror movement. At times they grasp at the silence of the space that separates them and yet there is a persistent desire to connect. The constant gaze between them begs but does not find resolution and the work seems to fade into a subdued silence.

Bienvenue Bazie and Jennifer Dallas in Idiom, Photograph by John MacLean

Bienvenue Bazie and Jennifer Dallas in Idiom, Photograph by John MacLean

Repeat performances and still to come:

KEMI CONTEMPORARY DANCE PROJECTS perform the two works, Idiom and Sous un projecteur (a solo by Bazié) at Arts Court’s ODD BOX on Friday, February 6 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, February 7 at 4:30 p.m.

QUDUS ONIKEKU / YK PROJECTS presents My Exile Is In My Head in the National Arts Centre Studio on Friday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 7 at 6 p.m.

VINCENT MANTSOE / COMPAGNIE NOA performs NTU and Skwatta at the National Arts Centre Studio on Friday, February 6 at 9 p.m. and Saturday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m.

FAUSTIN LINYEKULA /STUDIOS KABAKO presents Le Cargo at Arts Court Theatre on Saturday, February 7 at 9:30 p.m.

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From → Contemporary

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