Africa will take centre stage at Lyon’s dance biennale

One more target of the pandemic past calendar year, France”s competition of dance is now back – and bursting with energy.

La Biennale de la Danse commences this 7 days in Lyon, featuring extra than 40 dance providers from throughout the world.

At the coronary heart of this year’s Biennale is Africa and younger persons, with performers from 16 African nations around the world, which include Nigerian choreographer Qudus Onikeku and his dancers.

He has tailored an excerpt of their present to include things like 16 young beginner dancers from all-around Lyon for the conventional opening parade this year held on stage in the Fourvière amphitheatre, relatively than on the streets of Lyon.

Entitled Re:INCARNATION it pays homage to Nigerian tunes, the electrical power of Lagos and the idea of reinvention and human body memory, as Qudus explains:

“I was intrigued in the way the dancers of the youthful generation re-embody information and study of the previous in a much more present-day way even if they never have immediate education and learning or transmission of that but there is a way the body regenerates itself and remembers.”

The conclusion to go forward with the competition came down to the wire, but the nerve-racking months have paid off for performers and organisers.

One particular of the opening demonstrates is Urgence – Emergency – done by five youthful gentlemen who discovered dance by their local social centre – a functionality of dance and speech that crackles with rage and passion. They perform with Compagnie HKC, director Antoine Colnot explains why it is named Urgence:

“The crisis is the unexpected emergency of remaining alive, it is this emergency that puts us on a journey, that places us on our feet. We met so youthful people who had now supplied up and then we fulfilled these five who needed to discover their voice, required to tear by themselves absent, to split free of charge of their shackles.

The ‘Grande Personnes’ group performs with giant puppets that are just about 4 metres higher and weigh up to 30 kilos. The dancers experienced to rethink how to move to deliver out the puppets’ grace and personalities. Choreographer Bouba Landrille Tchouda suggests the key is understanding how the puppets move:

“The puppets can not do anything, but they can do plenty of items and I tried to work with them like the dancers, to get the job done on their alternatives, their robust points.”

The Biennale de la Danse operates until eventually June 16.