By John Owoo
(In Accra – Ghana)
Ghanaian, Togolese and Burkinabe dancers on Saturday singularly and collectively showcased the power of cross-cultural collaboration with a magnetic performance at the Alliance Française in Accra.
With Stéphanie Balouri (Burkina Faso), Agbodan Tétévi Alomenenyoh (Togo), Kafui Marcus Tay (Ghana) and musician Koffi Homo (Togo), the trio exhibited distinct movements – indeed, strong yet sensuous and angular yet gracious – as they unfolded “Djolo”, a piece choreographed by Tay.
With controlled and subdued movements, the dancers effectively transmitted messages relating to the thorny issue of illegal immigration while commentating on the need for long-lasting collaborations between African artists to enhance development of the sector.
A multi instrumentalist, Homo surprised the audience with his dexterity on a variety of drums, bells and shakers as the dancers enchanted the audience with a multiplicity of solos and duets that were not only visually stimulating but equally intense.
“It is exciting to see a young choreographer bring together his colleagues from other African countries to be part of an uplifting collaboration while sharing their passion to an enthusiastic audience”, said Kofi Nti a Ghanaian artist based in the United States.
Earlier members of the Africana Dance Ensemble and Tete Adehyeman Cultural Group showcased a variety of traditional Ghanaian dances commendably stringed together by Tay alongside some contemporary movements.
Clad in colorful costumes and led on by an array of drummers, the dancers who are visually and emotionally striking, appear to call on members of the audience to join them as frenetic drum rhythms engulfed the night air.
Initiated in Burkina Faso in 2018 by Balouri, Alomenenyoh and Tay, the Gododo Project – which spearheaded the production – aims at collaborations through dance residencies and performances while fostering and strengthening cross-cultural dialogue.
Gododo Project, Community Youth Cultural Centre, Tifali Organization and the West African chapter of the International Theatre Institute supported the production.