Sunday, 19 June 2016

Moya Michael - Dialogue series under the artistic direction of Faustin Linyekula and 55 by Radouan Mriziga at Teatro Municipal São Luis, Lisboa - The 5th and 9th of June 2016

I decided to see two dancing acts still within the Alkantara World Stage festival, both of which had solo artists on the stage and which I enjoyed for quite different reasons.

The first one " Dialogue" under the artistic direction of Faustin Linyekula had us immersed in the life of the South African dancer and choreographer Moya Michael and the hurdles she faced as a young dancer. Though biographical in its approach it was very well balanced in terms of the texts, the background South African and Congolese music by Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens, Abdullah Ibrahim and Franco together with the interspersed movements, which despite being swiftly "crafted" projected her quests, doubts, vulnerabilites ... herself ... in a rather touching way.

Radouan Mriziga's 55 had a completely different approach because the whole performance depended on his architecturally artistic movements and particularly his body, which was used as a tool to play with the final  symbolic perspective he creates on the ground and the public's minds - all of it achieved in 55 minutes, thus the title of his performance. 

In the artist's own words "The starting point of 55 is - How can I be as functional as possible on stage? As a dancer you constantly ask yourself questions: is it sufficient? Is this what you want to convey? Is this the right form? What exactly am I doing? What am I making? What do I express? I set out in search of functionality and the form functionality may adopt. It is an almost architectural approach, I question myself as a perfomer and as a creator."

I personally believe the impact this young Moroccan performer had was also partly due to the space in which he performed - The Winter's inner garden pertaining to Teatro Municipal de São Luis, which is as esthetically unique as Mriziga and his creative performance.

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