“Bootlegged” is a creation in progress for an upcoming performance by Boyzie Cekwana (South Africa) and Danya Hammoud (Lebanon), with the support of Pro Helvetia Cairo and Pro Helvetia Johannesburg, in collaboration with Kaserne Basel.
The two artists are heading to Basel this month to finalize their performance, to be ready to perform at Kaserne Basel on October 6, 2018.
Danya Hammoud is a Lebanese choreographer and performer. In her previous works Meen el Battal? S’approcher, Mahalli, Quatorze tours and Untitled she convinced the audience with her haunting presence, decided minimalism and high charisma. Her choreographies are extremely delicate and reach a concise social relevance. Her artistic, political and social work manifests itself as well in the Beirut based organization Zoukak, which she co-founded and worked with from 2007-2014.
The performer and choreographer Boyzie Cekwana is considered to be one of the important and internationally successful voices in the performing arts in Southern Africa. With his productions Brother, Brother, African Odyssée, in ux controls: I wanna be wanna be, On the 12th night of never, I will not be held black, In case of re, run for the elevator and The Last King of Kakfontein he has celebrated worldwide success. His work is a fusion of contemporary dance, words, melodies, imagery and movement that stem from the activist and protest movements of the townships. And so an aesthetic is created that, equally in form and in content, places itself in artistic identity, power, and a forceful anti-colonialism.
About the performance:
In the American Midwest of the 1880s, white men would conceal bottles of illicit alcohol in boot tops when going to trade with Native Americans (an effective strategy of neutralizing recalcitrant Natives by intoxication). ‹Bootlegging› then, was born. With the advent of the Prohibition, in the 1920s, the term got inducted into the American vocabulary.
In effect, the term denotes ‹smuggling›.
This is an invitation to witness a process of multiplying the angles of a critical encounter between two bodies, two stories and two histories. Each emanating from a continent, colliding in a third one. Formed by trouble and wrinkled by time, our bodies bend and contort in order to slip through borders.
In an attempt to unfold one to the other, tensions are revealed, vulnerability exposed and transcended, perhaps. New wrinkles will start to appear, this time through the presence and complicity of two bodies, standing up, standing for, standing with or standing behind each other.
Mutating from a red alert into a conflict, then towards a way out. Out of consumption into clarity. Bootlegged paths are the only paths available. Like interstitial tissue between hard cartilage, whispers through closed doors, these are our ‹in between› paths.