Directed by the Burkinabe Serge Aimé Coulibaly, seven astounding dancers recounts the history of the peoples of yesterday and today through the figure of the mythical Fela Kuti.
Kalakuta Republik, Lagos, Nigeria, a hotbed of liberty and defiance. In the urgency of the present moment, seven astounding dancers confront the world. Directed with brio by the Burkinabe choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly, their impassioned dancing recounts the history of the peoples of yesterday and today through the figure of the mythical, brilliant musician Fela Kuti. A hymn to resistance in the shamanic temple of Afrobeat.
Stoking the fire, the legendary Nigerian superstar Fela Kuti incarnates the abiding symbol of struggles against power and corruption as Coulibaly conducts his orchestra of insurgent dancers, instruments of the revolution. In a sweltering night club, they combine jazz, funk and Yoruba rhythms to a point of collapse and utter fusion–hip-shaking utopias, a bewitching urban trance. Amidst the chaos, the master of the night delivers urgent sermons. The uprising can’t wait. Get up and boogie!
Produced by Faso Danse Théâtre + Halles de Schaerbeek
Conceived and choreographed by Serge Aimé Coulibaly
Created with and performed by Marion Alzieu + Serge Aimé Coulibaly + Ida Faho + Antonia Naouele + Adonis Nebié + Sayouba Sigué + Ahmed Soura
Music Yvan Talbot
Video Ève Martin
Dramaturgy Sara Vanderieck
Set and Costume Design Catherine Cosme
Lighting Design Hermann Coulibaly
Choreographer Assistant Sayouba Sigué
Technician Sam Serruys
Contact and Touring Frans Brood Productions
Coproduction Maison de la Danse (Lyon) + Torinodanza (Turin) + Le Manège – Scène nationale de Maubeuge + Le Tarmac – La scène internationale francophone (Paris) + Les Théâtres de la ville de Luxembourg + Ankata (Bobo Dioulasso) + Les Récréâtrales (Ouagadougou) + Festival Africologne (Cologne) + De Grote Post (Ostend)
With the support of Musée des Confluences (Lyon) + Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, service de la danse
Presented by Havas in association with Monument-National with the support of Wallonie-Bruxelles International
Written by Jessie Mill
Translated by Neil Kroetsch
Premiered at Halles de Schaerbeek, Brussels, on February 15, 2017
Serge Aimé Coulibaly (Bobo-Dioulasso + Brussels)
Faso Danse Theatre
The Burkina Faso choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly views art as a vehicle for his commitment to social and political change.
Since 2002, pieces by his Faso Danse Théâtre company have focused on issues like war, violence and the environment, or have evoked historical figures of Africa. An activist and fervent champion of Thomas Sankara, a highly esteemed former president of Burkina Faso, Coulibaly comes from a generation of artists convinced of the enormous potential of Africa.
Born and raised in Bobo Dioulasso, the second largest city in Burkina Faso, Serge Aimé Coulibaly initially pursued theatre with the Feeren theatre company in Ouagadougou. He included dance, acrobatics and music in the troupe’s presentations and soon developed his own dance vocabulary. During a tour of France he discovered the work of Alain Platel, which was a liberating shock. He also discovered the dance of Pina Bausch.
In 2002 he joined the Ballets C de la B and danced for Platel, and later for Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. He currently divides his time between Belgium and Burkina Faso. He established the Ankata centre (Laboratoire international de recherche et de production des arts de la scène) in his home town, where he regularly rehearses with his company.
In October 2014, a time when artists were spearheading a popular uprising, Coulibaly presented Nuit blanche à Ouagadougou while the capital was in the throes of revolutionary fervour. The piece became prophetic, and gave the troupe a well-deserved place in the spotlight. Kalakuta Republik has its origins in that revolt and firmly established the reputation of Faso Danse Théâtre, which performs to great acclaim in theatres and festivals the world over.