Kalakuta Republik Serge Aimé Coulibaly

30 May —1 Jun 2019

The spirit of Fela Kuti is ever-present in this intoxicating dance piece by Burkina Faso-born Serge Aimé Coulibaly, which speaks of modern-day Africa and the artist as freedom-loving figurehead.

In the first half of the choreographer’s creation, all is monochrome. Dancers pulsate, whirl, plunge and vibrate, their relentless movement exploding with virtuoso energy. Projections depicting scenes of conflict serve as a backdrop for the performers, their perpetual march an urgent metaphor for the desire to keep living.

Bursts of colour take us into the second half, a place reminiscent of Kuti’s Shrine nightclub, where discord was confronted just as hope blossomed from solidarity and social consciousness. While provocative messages emblaze the stage, decadent dance depicts the struggles of an individual, the score echoing jazz-infused Afrobeat.

In honouring activist, musical legend and political maverick, Nigeria’s Fela Kuti, Kalakuta Republik also reflects on the role of anti-establishment artists today.

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