By John Owoo
(In Tunis – Tunisia)
“Sidewalk Stories”, a piece by six American choreographers / dancers on Sunday charmed an enthusiastic crowd through a continuous stream of movements at the Habib Bourguiba Avenue in downtown Tunis.
Performed by the E Company as part of the 2023 edition of Carthage International Dance Festival, over twenty dancers from Tunisia and the United States turned the stage into a dance groove with a level of connectedness that pervaded the entire piece.
Choreographed by A.J. Guevara, Robert J. Priore, JaMyra LaSalle, Jade Stewart, Philip Baraoiden and Paul Gordon Emerson – abstract and expressive movements enabled the dancers to explicitly reveal the power and beauty of cross-cultural collaborations – as they blended various dance traditions while creating a new synthesis in the process.
Indeed, arms were constantly flaying while pointing in different directions as others held aloft dancers who jumped into their arms – and gently placing them back as the crowd cheered and applauded the dancers – whose bodies have been well crafted by the act they have so gracefully mastered.
Recorded music blurring from loud speakers and their steps folded into one another as tender movements of torsos moved in unison while making their way out of the stage and returning soon after with fresh moves and acrobatics.
Indeed, the music starts with a smooth swaying rhythmic feel and steadily deepens as the dance progresses. The movements of the dancers matched the music even as it became sharp and direct in certain aspects of the dance.
Students and some instructors from the Ridha Rzig’s Hip Hop and Circus School in Tunis mounted a short production at the serene Bab & Cité El Khadra district, which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea that confounded patrons.
Overshadowed by a unique Tunisian context, the performers (aged between 9 and 14) were rotated in and out of stage alongside recorded music – it was a sight to behold as one can feel the joy in a performer once he or she takes the spotlight.
Carthage International Dance Festival, which is being held in various venues in Tunis is under the directorship of Selim Ben Safia. It ends on Saturday June 17,2023.
Pictures – Courtesy of Carthage International Dance FestivalRead More »