Voices of Strength: Contemporary Dance & Theater by Women from Africa

Sept 18 Stay Late Discussion: Shattering Silence: Female Voices in African Performance with Marýa Wethers (Program Manager, New York Live Arts)
Sept 19 at 6:30 Come Early Conversation: The Africanist Aesthetic in Performance and Visual Art with Thomas Lax (Studio Museum in Harlem) & Adrienne Edwards (Performa)

Sept 21 Stay Late Discussion: Women Breaking Borders, Subverting Cultural Expectations with Cathy Zimmerman (MAPP International Productions)
Sept 22 at 6:30 Come Early Panel: Creating Meaningful Cultural Exchange with Cathy Zimmerman (MAPP International), Shay Wafer (651 Arts), Carla Peterson (New York Live Arts)

Program A: Sep 18 – 19 
Correspondances with Kettly Noël (Haiti/Mali) and Nelisiwe Xaba (South Africa) 
Quartiers Libres with Nadia Beugré (Côte d’Ivoire)

Program B: Sep 21 – 22
Sombra with Maria Helena Pinto (Mozambique)
Madame Plaza with Bouchra Ouizguen (Morocco)

A mini-festival featuring five female African choreographers, the performances are sophisticated expressions of the complex lives these women live globally. Through traditionally-rooted dance and bold contemporary idioms, this twoevening program tackles diverse political and social themes that articulate women’s struggles toward empowerment with humor, poignancy and courage.

Program A features Correspondances, a raucous yet intimate duet by Kettly Noël and Nelisiwe Xaba that explores race, culture, gender and friendship; and Quartiers Libres, a commanding solo by Nadia Beugré with interactive sound exploring the struggle between cultural boundaries and personal freedom.

Program B begins with Sombra by Maria Helena Pinto, a stark and poignant solo that gives voice to the lives of “invisible” women who push society forward; followed by Madame Plaza, a profoundly contemporary piece by Bouchra Ouizguen featuring three Aïta vocalists, whose traditional technique includes guttural wailing and incantation.

This presentation is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, with support from Speaker Christine C. Quinn.

Voices of Strength is curated by MAPP International Productions and presented in partnership with the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium.

The U.S. tour of Voices of Strength is made possible with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, supported by lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust. It is also supported, in part, by Institut français – Ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes and the eeg-cowles Foundation. Critical production support was provided by KVS (Brussels, Belgium).