Dancing Around the World is one way to describe much of my international travel. During the 1980s it was mostly to France and the rest of Europe; in the 1990s and 2000s, mostly to Africa. With a side trip here and there to Asia and Latin America.
As a dance presenter I needed to see what was percolating globally. As a perpetual student of history and geography I wanted to understand how the environment within which it was made influenced, infused and informed the dance itself.
I suspect my dance friends have found my endless attempts to give our dance programs a geo-art twist a bit silly at times. But I have just never been able to separate any kind of art from its place in the world.
Now as I look at this final Global DanceFest program I feel completely justified. The very last piece we will present is African in heart and soul, body and mind. Panaibra Gabriel Canda and Boyzie Cekwana have worked for a very long time on Inkomati (Dis)cord whenever they have had the chance to connect in their native countries of Mozambique and South Africa, or elsewhere in the world. Now it’s completed and will be here in Albuquerque and everything that a Global DanceFest wrap should be.
Inkomati (Dis)cord IS a visit to contemporary Africa. The history between two countries, the politics that never end, the doubt people feel about where they fit in the sometimes dysfunctional environments…the vitality and genius it takes to survive and thrive. It all comes out in the incredible creativity of African artists. As does the indispensable perseverance, humor and interdependence that these remarkable people bring to this unique work: Canda whose thoughtfulness infuses the work, Cekwana whose humor tinged with cynicism takes on African politics, and Maria Tembe, who lost her legs in a car accident, and is a dancer of unbelievable beauty.
I will come back to this topic of how dance and cultures based on geography and historical amalgamations intertwine. It is usually more difficult to trace than here—but I always try!
I hope everyone reading this blog within driving and flying distance will be here for Inkomati (Dis)cord. Because it is what I’ve been trying to get people to come and see for all these years of Global DanceFest. October 4 and 5/North Fourth Art Center/Albuquerque New Mexico USA.