Excerpts from Danse l’Afrique danse! festival held in Bamako, Mali 2010. Featured in this video are excerpts from works by Gregory Maqoma, Kubilai Khan Investigations, Radhouane El Meddeb, and Seydou Boro.

  1. David Thill says:

    The choreography in all of these excerpts was really incredible: the way the dancing flowed and connected to the music, and the expressiveness of it all, was amazing. I really find this movement awesome. I’d like to know more about some of these pieces: who these choreographers and dancers are, how they have established themselves, and what social/political context, if any, were these pieces performed in?

  2. Clara Martinez says:

    Out of the four clips, “Archipelago” was most captivating to me. The music, the lighting, and that man’s ability to collapse all his will into the movement was just lovely. The second clip with the man trotting and shaking around the food in the huge tent like structure confused me a bit. I couldn’t tell if he was just messing around while cooking, if he was performing and the cooking was part of the piece, or why the audience was sitting so far off to the side and why they were all in such a casual space. I’d like to know the intent of the choreographer, performer, and filmmaker was behind that piece and clip.

  3. Ella Matweyou says:

    I was thrown off by the dancer’s opening statement: “I am an African dancer; I tell exotic stories to survive.” The way he said it seemed almost ironic… I wouldn’t expect someone from Africa to describe their dancing as exotic because it is isn’t foreign to him personally– perhaps to a viewer, but not to a native of Africa. I wasn’t sure if this line was meant to be sincere or if it was supposed to satirize Westerner’s views of European dance.

  4. Kayla Smith says:

    As Ella mentioned, I was also thrown off by the dancer’s comment, however I was thrown off even more by the music. To me, it didn’t sound like the typical African drums, but rather more Asian/Eastern with the sound of percussion. The dancing itself was very African, at least through my perception. The fast steps, movement from many central points in the body, use of the hips, balls of the feet, hands. It was all very captivating for I haven’t seen much African dance, much less tried it.

  5. Haley Harrison says:

    After a enlightening Q&A conversation with Gregory Maqoma, Esther asked me to post a few of his quotes that I scribbled down. As a dancer interested in intercultural exchange and movement communication myself, these ideas were particularly refreshing to hear from a successful international dancer/choreographer.

    “Every night I discover something new. It’s a different journey on stage.”

    “There is never anything new. Anything we do has been done. What makes it new is your approach.”

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