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Mozongi (Return) by Zab Maboungou/Danse Nyata Nyata
The art and tradition of African dance and music is alive and well in the work of Montreal-based choreographer, Zab Maboungou. Emerging from an art of rhythms and drum Maboungou’s choreography breaks open physical and intellectual dimensions, lines and breath, energy and its transmutation via body language, musical capacity, by setting bodies and memories within living space.
Unrelenting, urgent rhythmic dancing and drumming, with a strong Central African base, Mozongi (Return) is a piece about time, and more precisely, about the physics of time. The step is weight and weight is time. Not repetition, but persistence. The structure of Mozongi thus unfolds through the contrasts of movement and of immobility.
Maboungou has special cues to unlock memory and capture glimpses of life and time. “I talk a lot around death. When you are dying, you are not passive,” she says. “I talk about centre, constantly, and ground. We create multiple grounds. We create second and third grounds. You’re coming up, when it seems you’re going down. The movement is about mobility and immobility. To be still is killing – weight and lightness reside in constant flux within the body.”
Never one to lose her nerve, Maboungou says audiences will be drawn in if they let themselves. Her invitation couldn’t be simpler. “All I say to people [coming to the show] is: be yourself, relax. Nothing has to happen, just be there.”
Thursday, March 30 at 1:30 p.m. (matinée) & 8:00 p.m.
Friday, March 31 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 1 at 8:00 p.m.
General Admission: $25
Student Rate: $18
Children (under 12): $10
Venue: John Paul II Centre, 2200 25th Avenue