A wild creature inhabits the stage. This is the artist Albert Ibokwe Khoza, in a solo performance created for him by Robyn Orlin "as a requiem for humanity".
Through suggestive metamorphosis of his hybrid and playful body, caught somewhere between sin, decadence and brilliance, according to the critic of the newspaper Liberation after the première at the Montpellier Dance Festival in June 2016: "Albert Ibokwe Khoza transforms himself into a traditional healer, a larger than life performer and a transgender creature wrapped in layers of cellophane as if he were involved in a mortuary rite, from which he seems to emerge as a butterfly from an antediluvian era... Or perhaps he is wrapped up like a commodity? In any case, this lustful, greedy and grotesque ogre of a creature, adorned with feathers, seems to present us with an African pop version of Bosch's Seven Deadly Sins".
Albert has been rebelling since his time at the University of the Witwatersrand, when he refused to read books about dance, which showed what dance should and should not be according to Eurocentric ideas. Instead, Albert decided to draw on the methodology of African dancers such as Robyn Orlin, Athena Mazarakis, Jaisalmer Mbothwe, Gregory Maqhoma, Gerard Bester and Nhlanhla Mahlangu. Albert feels that theatre, dance and art in general are weapons to remind, strike, inflict, raise awareness and create change.
"I think of this piece as a 'requiem for humanity', made by me for an actor of the next generation of South Africans... full of positive and inquisitive notions... trying to live with the destruction that we continue to create. And it should continue to serve future generations... asking whether it is possible, as South Africans, to colonize Mozart and at the same time use the everyday as a vehicle...", explains choreographer Robyn Orlin.
The leading South African dancer and choreographer Robyn Orlin is known in her country because of the ongoing provocation her works cause. Winner of the French government’s highest award for merit in the arts, for the past thirty years she has been transforming the boundaries between performative art and dance. She portrays the difficult and complex reality of South Africa through her eclectic work, drawing on disciplines such as video, the plastic arts and text. In each project she seeks ways to include the community and the public. Her starting point for each new production is her immediate surroundings, which act as a springboard to explore issues related to culture, history and identity. In her works, the audience is often on stage during the performance while the artists mingle among the audience. Robyn Orlin would like everyone to be a dancer.
In Naves Matadero, she will showcase her audiovisual installation about the project she carried out with museum security staff, called Babysitting Series. She will give a performance/lecture entitled One Hour with Robyn and she will stage her work about freedom And so you see... our honourable blue sky and ever enduring sun... can only be consumed slice by slice... which features an amazing performance by Albert Khoza.
Idea: Robyn Orlin
Performer: Albert Silindokuhle Ibokwe Khoza
Costumes: Marianne Fassler
Lighting: Laïs Foulc
Stage manager: Thabo Pule
Administration and production: Damien Valette
Assistance: Marion Paul
Production City Theater & Dance Group, Damien Valette Prod, Festival Montpellier Danse 2016, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Kinneksbond, Centre Culturel Mamer, Luxembourg, Centre Dramatique National de Haute-Normandie, la Ferme du Buisson, scène Nationale de Marne-la-Vallée
With the support of: Arcadi Ile-de-France
Thanks to: Philippe Lainé por las imágenes and Léopard Frock´s team