“We lay on the ground pressed by the weight of our history wondering why we can’t breathe. The scorn of the earth’ we have been called…We have always been here and we will not be leaving anytime soon. The melanin that we have denotes the story that we have carved.”
Coloured Swans 3: Harriet’s reMix is the third part in Moya Michael’s Coloured Swans series. For this piece, Moya collaborates with four young creatives – Loucka Fiagan, Oscar Cassamajor, Milo Slayers and Zen Jefferson – and investigates the future in relation to the past and the present. These young performers represent the future, carrying with them visions of hope and alternative worlds, while also maintaining a dialogue with their ancestors. A sub-Saharan African proverb says that we stand on the shoulders of giants. But what if we cannot tap into the greatness of our ancestors to guide us safe and sound into the future?
The performance goes deep into a multitude of themes, posing questions about spirituality and displacement and the three-unity – an exploration of the non-linearity of time. Coloured Swans 3: Harriet’s reMix is firmly set on the crossroads between West Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The performance also questions form and theatre. Why do we choose to put our bodies in a black box? How can the three bodies become one, and thus, a solo? How do projections put on some bodies impact their performativity? The entire piece is set in a space with continuously changing borders, allowing the performers to use the space in any way they want. Expect another lush tapestry of images, sound and movement, put together by the same artistic team that helped Moya create her first two deeply riveting Swans.
Moya Michael is a dancer, performing artist and choreographer born and raised in Johannesburg (SA). Moya currently resides in Brussels (BE) which is her base for creating her own work. She has danced with the likes of Akram Khan, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (Rosas), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet (Eastman), Faustin Linyekula and David Hernandez.
Moya is interested in ‘performing the self’ and developing projects with other artists and artistic fields and has an ongoing commitment to process, discourse and becoming. About working with Linyekula she says: “It inspired me working so closely with an artist asking similar questions about context, and what one might refer to as “internal systems.” We examined notions of visibility and blackness in and out of Europe, and considered whether or not “coloredness” in artistic expression is itself inherently political.” Delving into those accumulating questions around internal systems, she responds not just as a dancer, but as a choreographer and perhaps more significantly, as an interdisciplinary artist.
Moya was nominated for a best dancer award at the ITS Festival in The Netherlands and was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for dance at the National Arts festival in Grahamstown (SA).
Moya has worked on commissions in India, China, Germany, South Africa and Austria. Her works include ‘Darling’, a collaboration with Igor Shyshko which they still perform, and ‘A_Part’ created for three talented dancers from the SEAD’s Bodhi project in Salzburg (AUT).
With Coloured Swans, Moya Michael creates a series of solo’s in which she questions how our various imposed identities influence our bodies and how we move, speak, sing. Coloured Swan 1: Khoiswan and Coloured Swan 2: Eldorado, both premiered at KVS in November 2018. Moya is currently working on Coloured Swan 3: Harriet’s ReMix, which will premiere at KVS (BE) in May 2020.
Concept & choreography: Moya Michael In collaboration with and performed by Loucka Fiagan & Oscar Cassamajor / WDKY & Milo Slayers, Zen Jefferson Dramaturgical advice: Tunde Adefioye Artistic advice: Tracey Rose Video: Oscar Cassamajor, Moya Michael Scenography: Špela Tušar Costumes & make-up: Povilas Bastys Soundscape & music: Zen Jefferson Light design & technical support: Caroline Mathieu, Margareta Andersen Sound: Steven Lorie Executive production: Kosmonaut Distribution: Cokot / Julie le Gall Internship Dramaturgy: Amy Lawrence Coproduction: KVS (BE), centre chorégraphique national de Caen en Normandie – dans le cadre de l’Accueil-studio (FR), Africalia With the support of: Flemish Community Commission (VGC) and the Flemish Authorities (VG) Thank you to all the individuals we had an invaluable exchange with in Nigeria and along the way: Segun Adefila, Kenneth Uphopho, Dr Sharon A Omotoso, Prof Femi CO Jegede, The Dramatic Arts department at Obafemi Awolowo University Ife Especially Prof Abiodun Olayiwola, Adetokunbo Adeola Shittu, Babalawo Oosaniyi Adeniyi Adeyemo, Prof Oladele Fakeye, Donna Ogunnaike, Nfemi Marcus Bello, Naomi Edobor, Angels & Muse, Joseph Umoibom, Bola Atitebi Haastrup, Christianah Omisakin, Terra Kulture Lagos, QDance Company, Street Dancers at The New Africa Shrine. Further thank you to Hakobune AKA Takahiro Yorifuji and the use of his track Melting Reminiscence (http://hakobunemusic.jp/)