DANCE Heritage

Glasgow: King's Theatre, Mon 10—

Sat 24 May.

Back when selling Celtica to the world was just a twinkle in Michael Flatley's Irish eyes, Les Ballets Africains (LBA) was already exporting its traditional music and dance round the globe with a temperature-raising degree of success. Now, on its first visit to Britain in seven years, LBA drops in on Glasgow with its latest piece Heritage, a typically dazzling display of colour, carnival and big white teeth.

Established when its native Guinea was under French rule, the forty- strong company has been spreading song, dance and sunshine round the world for almost 45 years. When the former colony gained independence in 1958, LBA came into its own as an ambassador not just for Guinea but, as artistic director Italo Zambo says, for African culture as a whole.

’Now we are free,’ exclaims Zambo between mouthfuls of chips. 'Now we can tell the real story of our people. Now we can represent all of Africa.’ The real story of Africa's people has of course, been told for centuries through ritual and celebratory dance. Zambo's job has been to take those traditions and make them into viewer-only entertainment.

'In my village,’ says Zambo, ’we dance in the round. You automatically become part of it. Now we dance for the people. We transformed the stories for the stage. This is why we call it ballet. Ballet is the transformation of dance to the stage.’

At home LBA enjoy a status most nations reserve for

Les Ballet Africains: one nation under a groove

football teams. The compliment is returned by the company, who will not tour a show until it’s been approved by its people. Quality control checks on costumes, steps and storylines are also carried out by historians, and by the government, who like to keep tabs on how the republic is represented abroad.

Heritage, LBA’s latest show, appears to have received a row of perfect sixes from all judges concerned. The story is based on 12th century Guinean legend Bala Fassake Kouyate, who appears to have been a kind of West African Braveheart. The starring role however, belongs not to Kouyate, but to a couple of musical instruments, the xylophone and the drum. This is not as daft as it sounds. It's the power of the drum to inspire and unify that eventually wins the day for Kouyate and his people. The 12th century equivalent of house music perhaps? (Ellie Carr)

Crossing The Border: poetry in motion

Burroughs and all round hrppy drppy cosmrc guy, at a weekend workshops organrsed by Belgran composer Phrlrppe Franck rn 1996 Instantly hooked on the surreal nature of Cohen's rhymes, Ganase rnvrted hrm to create text for a dance piece, and before long she had an extra company member recruited to her cause.

'The two had somethrng rn comrrron,’ explains Phrlrppe Franck, composer for Crossing The Border '\.\"hrch rs strange because he (Cohen‘r :s a maxrmalrst, a man of words and Nadrne rs more a women of gestures, expr‘essrng the thrngs you can’t really say

Like cool



Glasgov: Tramway, iri 23/Sat 24 May.

\T'e've a‘l heard the one about playrng narr1e the farrretrs Belgian and getting stuck Well here's The small country I::rl<;e:l between France and the fsietlrerurnds rs a world leader rn the far-Ir: ,1 Yes, (ortterr‘morars' dance They may not be household but Wrm Wandeltylzrrs, :reator of the much- hype'l E.Ii.”.)( rash style, Anna Teresa De Kr-r-rsrmr-kr-r a'rd Compagnre Nadrne Ganasc- are just some of the dance

after Hercules Porot sortie to add to the lrs!

x <.rt'.-"-rrrpor'ary (lant e


20 THE LIST tr. 2s an, 19’)!

stars provrng there's more to Belgrum than choccres and Ia< e

Cornpagnre Nadine Cranase, whose new work, Crossing The Border vrsrts Glasgow's Tramway thrs month, rs the n wrest addrtron to Belgrurrr’s (lance hratpacl: Garrase set up the company rn 1991 after seven years with Keersmaeker‘s outfrt Rosas She has since choreographed seven pieces rrttltitltrttt Beethoven, an open-arr extravaganza wrtn lrve orchestration, singers and actors

Crossing The Border rs rnsprred by a muse somewhat more offbeat than Beethoven. Cranase encountered Ira Cohen, 70s beatpoet, artrst, traveller and frlmmaker, frrend of erlrarn

shots. in

the and 3.". the

Cohen person, soundtrack, internatrenal dancers

appears rn on Video while the (as! art three “esl't out the theme of {rttSslttfl both psvtlzi‘loortal and geographic borders to I‘ranzl.'s store of ’textural' sounds It's a rnrrltt- sensory approach that ostes Itttitlt to Garrase's teacher Keersrnaeker, hut Franck rnsrst's she's no slate to the bold, stomprng Rosas company style 'Tlrere's a strong grateful and female

aesthetic \'.’ll|(lt rs very particular to

Nadrne,’ Franck says "There rs that rnfluence (De Keersmaekerr But she also manages to be rntrrrrate to go

deep rnsrde the body and then express that to the audience ' tEIIre Catt)

Tickets and information

All you need to know about Scotland's second-biggest arts festival. DATES: Mayfest runs until Sat 24 May, at venues all over Glasgow. INFORMATION: The Ivtayfest rnforrnatron Irne rs 0141 552 8444. You can also contact individual venues to ask about the performances that are on there. TICKET OUTLETS: YOU can buy tickets for most events rn person, by phone or by post from The Ticket Centre, Candleriggs, Glasgow (31 INQ, 0141 287 5511 Tickets for most events are also available at the venues where they take place. Box office numbers are given below and in our listings. MAYFEST TICKET HOTLINE:

0141 287 5000 MAIN VENUE BOX OFFICES: 0141 221 9736 0141 332 0522 0141 429 0022 0141 357 3868 0141 332 8128 0141 353 4137 0141 287 5511 0141 287 5511 0141 332 9000/ 0141 556 5555 0141 287 3900 0141 552 4267 THE LIST’S MAYFEST PREVIEW: On thrs page and opposrte, we prevrew a selectron of the most excrtrng events rn the last nrne days of Mayfest. LISTINGS: To make rt easrer for you to frnd what you're Iookrng for, we've drvrded Mayfest events rnto Our usual Irstrngs‘ sectrons; Film (page 29), Music v’page 48), Drama and Dance (page 62 shows \‘v’lTlClI are towing rn Mayfest are Irsted on pages 66/7T, Comedy (page 68), Clubs (page 69), Art (page 80), Krds {page 90‘

Arches Theatre.


Citrzens' Theatre: Cottrer Theatre: Glasgow'r'rlm Theatre: GRCH

King's Theatre:

Old Frurtmarket'

Theatre Roval


TIOYT Tllt‘di?t“'

Mayfest highlight: Les Ballets Africains in Heritage at the King’s Theatre (see above left)