“Africa gave us the Blues. Time to give back something.”
The Yaoundé Goethe Institute and the director of “Association MEKA”, Elise Mbala, organised a dance theatre project consisting of two one week workshops with dancers and musicians from Cameroon, for which they invited Henrietta Horn, artistic director of the Essen-based Folkwang Tanzstudio. In the course of the workshops, a choreography was created that was to explore dance as an element of complex criteria of expression and performance. The piece premiered in early April 2006 at the Yaoundé “Abok i Ngoma” dance festival, whose name roughly translates as “Dance and Drums”.
The project fits into a conceptual framework that can be circumscribed by three terms: globalisation, migration, identity. Artists look for and need theoretical and technical input in order to be able to cope with what floods them via all channels and frequencies to become part of their world. Art in this sense has an important function in establishing one’s identity, particularly in this place, since it is based in local folklore but, transcending it, can initiate its own theoretical discourse, find syntheses and change cultural practice.