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Dance festival concludes with portraits in otherness

24.6 0l7a6609©julien martinez leclerc

A month of performances and dance acts is coming to an end on Friday as the Cyprus Contemporary Dance Festival wraps up. The final performance is scheduled for this week at Rialto Theatre, presenting the project Portraits in Otherness as well as two solos.

The knowledge built, the new roads paved in dance, and the heritage created by Akram Khan’s famous team, as well as the concept of the multi-ethnic dialogue are now passed on to highly charismatic, remarkable, upcoming choreographers/ dancers through the Portraits in Otherness project. Under the guidance of Farooq Chaudhry, producer of Akram Khan Company, and a close associate of leading dancer and choreographer Khan himself, the project consists of two dynamic solos by internationally recognised and awarded choreographers Dickson Mbi who will present the performance Duende and Joy Alpuerto Ritter with this act Babae.

They bring to the stage sounds, experiences and images that express different dance languages, which they were either taught or inherited through the history of their homeland. They are bridges between cultures, eras, knowledge and intuition. They each carry an ancient heritage, honouring traditions while transforming and creating them in their own ways.

“Portraits in Otherness,” said Chaudhry, “represent two important things to Akram and me – giving back and contributing to the future of dance. We have provided each artist with the optimum artistic conditions to express their ideas, concepts and language with as much confidence and clarity at this fragile point in their careers. Just as many people did for us almost 20 years ago. We feel this is our artistic and cultural responsibility! We look forward to the stories they will tell and the stories we believe they will continue to tell in many years to come.”

On Friday, Mbi will take the stage first, at 8.30pm, to present Duende. The performance acts as a reflection, a ritual and a personal narrative of his Duende making it a revelation of the soul, breaking the habit of concealing what makes us who we are and finding the confidence to put our soul, its history, and our feelings on display. Mbi creates an otherworldly fairy tale that brings to life the emotions revealed in these moments of light.

Developed over one year, Duende represents a significant milestone in Mbi’s artistic journey. This 20-minute solo, with an original score by Roger Goula, intuitively brings together memories from Mbi’s ancestral African heritage, his elite popping skills and his training in contemporary dance.

Then, Roy Alpuerto Ritter will present the 30-minute solo work Babae – meaning woman in the Tagalog language of the Philippines. Raised and classically trained in Germany, Joy examines inherited vocabularies, reconfiguring what it means to summon the power and mystical practices of woman as a witch. Combining her roots in Philippine folk dance, classical training and vocabulary of hip hop and voguing, Babae is a one-woman interplay between the animalistic and sensual qualities of ritual and power. Both artists will hold free workshops on the following day, addressed to dance professionals and students.


Portraits of Otherness

Solo dance acts by choreographers Dickson Mbi and Joy Alpuerto Ritter. Part of Cyprus Contemporary Dance Festival. June 24. Rialto Theatre, Limassol. 8.30pm. €8. Tel: 7777-7745.

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