Alliance Française hosts Senegal dance troupe

ALLIANCE Française will tonight host the Diagn’Art Dance Company from Senegal at Reps Theatre.

Staff Writer

The dance troupe, which has received rave reviews in countries such as Senegal, South Africa, Reunion Island, Netherlands and France, is visiting the country as part of its ongoing Africa tour.

Alliance Française assistant administrator Gerald Mugweni said the company will perform a fusion of traditional and contemporary dances.

“Diagn’Art will perform a solo entitled This Line is My Path and Banlieue. Banlieue cleverly blends traditional African and contemporary dance based on French playwright Roland Fichet’s texts,” Mugweni said.

The dances were inspired by the childhood of choreographer and dancer Alioune Diagne, who grew up in Diaminar on the outskirts of Saint-Louis in Senegal.

They tell of the lives of people living in the banlieues (slums), their survival, hopes and aspirations. Diagn’Art’s dances evoke despair, express celebration and demonstrate the revolt of life in survival mode.

“They depict the lives of young people torn between recklessness, carelessness, laziness and rebellion. A situation that many young people from the suburbs go through,” added Mugweni.

“These universal themes with a touch of humour will captivate audiences of all ages and from all backgrounds.”

According to a review, the dance “oscillates between humorous frivolity and seriousness and makes the thoughts, fears and hopes of the people living in the banlieue tangible”.

Diagn’Art was created in 2008 by Diagne in Saint-Louis, Senegal. In the same year he started the international festival Duo Solo Danse, the only annual festival for contemporary dance in Senegal and its neighbouring countries.

The show starts at 7pm and costs US$10. It will also feature widely-travelled dance group, Tumbuka Dance Company, as the opening act.