Danse l’Afrique danse! is back on the road again with its 8th edition and this time the biennial slips into the footsteps of the Dense Bamako dance festival directed by Kettly Noël in Bamako. Danse l’Afrique danse! has become a main rendez-vous during which international artists and programmers get a chance to discover contemporary African dance works by promising dancers and choreographers hailing from diverse horizons and cultures from Africa and Indian Ocean. Many recipients of the contest have launched a successful international career from there including the likes of Robyn Orlin, Sello Pesa, Boyzie Cekwana to name only the South African ones.
PJ Sabbagha’s choreography Deep Night performed by the Forgotten Angle Theatre Collective (FATC) was chosen to be presented as part of the competition with nine other group choreographies amongst the 150 applications from 22 different countries.
Beside the competition, the biennial proposes a rich and diverse programming of dance to dance lovers and specialists gathered in Bamako – this includes the performance of South African talents: Gregory Maqoma in Beautiful Me, Nelisiwe Xaba in Sakhozi says non to the Venus and Mamela Nyamza in Hatched. In addition, the biennial will host a platform open for debates and discussions reviewing two decades of new creative dances in Africa and the development of contemporary choreographic composition in the African continent as well as daily public meetings with the artists partaking in the competition.
The significant presence of South African artists at this edition reflects the quality and diversity of contemporary dance in South Africa.
Sophie Renaud, the Directrice of the Departement of artistic exachnges and cooperations at Culturesfrance and the Déléguée Générale of Danse l’Afrique danse !, says “I quite simply believe that [the biennial Danse l’Afrique danse !] continues to nurture and promote the artistic process in Africa, that it allows a new generation to flourish, then the next, while remaining aware of all the continent’s forms and universes.”
At the end of the biennial, the jury will choose two award winning companies and one award winning soloist. The jury is comprised of seven personalities including Angelin Preljocaj (France), choreographer, dancer and artistic director of Ballet Preljocaj – Le Pavillon Noir as President of the jury; Syhem Belkhodja (Tunisia), Festival director for the “Rencontres chorégraphiques de Carthage” and the Mediterranean Centre for Contemporary dance; Salvador Garcia (France) Director of Bonlieu Scène Nationale d’Annecy, Sandro Lunin (Switzerland), Artistic director Zürcher Theater Spektakel; Gregory Maqoma (South Africa), dancer, choreographer and instructor; Alioune Ifra N’Diaye (Mali) Director of BlonBa and Gabrielle Von Brochowski (France), Vice President of Culturesfrance.
The award-winners will be offered to take part in an international tour. The first leg will take place from November to December 2010 in Africa following the event as part of the “Indépendances” project. The second leg will be an international tour. In addition, the jury will award the winning company (1st prize) a creative grant of 5,000 Euros for a project in 2011/2012.
Danse L’Afrique Danse ! is co-produced by Culturesfrance and Donko Seko with the close collaboration of the Ministry de la Culture du Mali in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of Mali, the Délégation de l’Union Européenne au Mali, the Service de Coopération et d’Action Culturelle, Ambassade de France au Mali / Fonds de Solidarité Prioritaire « Promotion de la Diversité culturelle au Mali », PUMA.Creative and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.