Provoking and non-conformist, Serge Aimé Coulibaly is transporting us in a world where Fela Kuti, the revolutionary icon that inspired the piece Kalakuta Republik, is displayed in 3D through his musical greatness, his murky and superstitious genius, his enduring creativity pushing off boundaries and his unwavering defiance. Kalakuta Republik offers no escape to facing the crude realities of revolutionary acts : the sublime and the chaos.
Part 1 " Without a story we would go mad" peaks away from codes, from what is predictable into continuous individual movements that take us into a disjointed trance. The dancers are dressed in black and white as if presenting a manichaean view and isolated experience of the world. Yet Serge Coulibaly through his appearances on stage becomes a conductor who connects with the dancers.
In Part 2 « You always need a poet », we are firstly confronted with moral decadence and the absurd. Sexual depravity, drugs, madness punctuate the sounds of jazz-infused Afrobeat. One dancer is hurt, heavyloaded while others are intoxicated, used, hurt, abused. The colours remind us of Fela Kuti’s Shrine which was both a temple and a night club. Yet, the poignant and enduring message of hope and political resistance clearly resonates throughout the piece.
The dancers keep on marching, clenched-fists in the air. And the fight goes on !!!
Kalakuta Republik will show one more night at the Barbican on 1st June and at the Edinburgh International Festival from 8th to 11th August 2019. See links below to book your tickets now.