Afrocentric Theatre, Music, Culture and Business

Kalakuta Republik -Dance Theatre (30 May-1 Jun) Kalakuta Republik -Dance Theatre (30 May-1 Jun)
Kalakuta Republik -Dance Theatre (30 May-1 Jun)

The spirit of Fela Kuti is ever-present in this intoxicating dance piece by Burkina Faso-born choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly, which speaks of modern-day Africa and the musical artist as freedom-loving figurehead.


In the first half all is monochrome. Dancers pulsate, whirl, plunge and vibrate, their relentless movement exploding with virtuoso energy. Projections depicting scenes of conflict serve as a backdrop for the performers, their perpetual march an urgent metaphor for the desire to keep living.


Bursts of colour propel the second half, a place reminiscent of Kuti’s Shrine nightclub, where discord was confronted just as hope blossomed from solidarity and social consciousness. While provocative messages illuminate the stage, to a score echoing jazz-infused Afrobeat, decadent dance depicts the struggles of an individual.


Fela was an enigma. He has been variously described as ‘superstar, singer, musician, Pan Africanist, polygamist, mystic, legend.


Of his work Coulibaly has said in previous interviews that the Kalakuta Republik was envisaged as result of the popular uprising in Burkina Faso that saw the overthrowing of the incumbent president Blaise Compaoré.


In honouring Nigeria’s activist, musical legend and political maverick, Fela Kuti, Kalakuta Republik reflects on the role of anti-establishment artists today.


30 May–1 June, Kalakuta Republik, Barbican Theatre, EC2Y 8BN

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