It’s timeless and dreamy... utterly earthy, both flirty and no-nonsense
Seven male and seven female dancers from Senegal and the United States bring the story of their ancestors to life. This tale of slavery, rituals, love and death is told in a realistic and metaphorical performance full of power and emotion, both exotic and moving. In English, French, Wolof and Shona.
“The scales of memory” represents the fulfillment of a dream – to unite the story of Africa and its Diaspora in America in dance. Germaine Acogny (Dakar) and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar (Brooklyn, N.Y.) have turned this dream into reality with their two dance companies: “Compagnie Jant-Bi“ (only male dancers from Senegal) and “Urban Bush Women“ (Brooklyn, African-American and African femal dancers). For over two years, the groups visited each other in their respective countries to explore places of their past.
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, born and raised in Kansas City/USA, studied dance at the university there. She has lived in New York since 1980, and founded “Urban Bush Women“ in 1984. She has developed 32 productions to date. “The scales of memory“ is the first collaboration with Germaine Acogny.
Germaine Acogny is a Senegalese and French native, born in Benin, who founded her first dance studio in Dakar in 1968. She learned traditional African dance (her grandmother was a Yoruba priestess) along with western styles (classic and modern). In the 1980s, she lived and worked in Belgium (with Maurice Béjart) and France before returning to Senegal in 1995. She opened the “International Centre for Traditional and Contemporary African Dances“ in Senegal. Her “Compagnie Jant-Bi“ emerged from this association in 1998. She wrote “African Dance“ (1980), which has been published in three languages.
The music was composed by Fabrice Bouillon-LaForest together with Féderic Bobin. Piano, percussion and vocals are also featured on the recorded sound collage, including the drummers from L’ecole des Sables, Acogny’s international dance center in Toubab Dialaw, just outside of Dakar. www.urbanbushwomen.orgwww.jant-bi.org