Jacek Luminski (top) Founder and Artistic Director of the Silesian Dance Theatre of Poland, putting the final polish on “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost” — his new work for Battery Dance Company that will be presented in New York at 3LD Art + Technology on Tuesday night, May 21st at 7:30 p.m. with subsequent performances on Wednesday and Thursday, May 22 and 23rd at 10:30 and 7:30 each day.
This is straight from Kinshasa and is a phenomenon that awed me. In the midst of extreme poverty, people dressed to the nines. Not only were clothes expensive but also immaculately kept. That is quite a task given the dusty red dirt and overwhelming trash accumulating everywhere. People share a sort of outdoor toilet and wash all clothes by hand. White clothes were blindingly white and looking sharp was of the upmost importance even if the daily events involved watching the world from a plastic lawn share. Appearances were psychologically important to maintain, at least that was my conclusion. A source of pride in a city with collapsing infrastructure.
In a poor city in a poor country on a poor continent, there is a group of people with a singular purpose: to look rich.
Or, rather, to look good — and to fully embody the suave, elegant style that a wardrobe of three-piece suits, silk socks, fedoras and canes might suggest.
They are called sapeurs or members of the Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes (the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People). And when they go out, they turn the streets of Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of the Congo, into a fashion runway.
5 BDC teaching artists, 5 Macedonian cities. Today the BDC team spread out across Macedonia to bring the DtC program to youth across the country. For the next week, in each city, the teaching artists will lead ethnically mixed workshops that include Macedonians, Albanians, Roma, and Turks, with all 5 teaching artists and their groups converging on the capital of Skopje on Saturday for the final DtC performance.
Even though the team is currently in Macedonia, the press is still hot in Georgia over the DtC program. More to come, including a long piece from Rustavi 2 that documents the program from beginning to end!
Last night: another spectacular Dancing to Connect performance! The theatre once again was filled to capacity with audience members sitting in aisles and standing along walls at the 750+ seat Griboedov theatre. Unfortunately, some were turned away as there was no room to spare. The audience clapped wildly and again tears flowed after the performance. Only a few hours later the BDC team departed Georgia for Macedonia to conduct the DtC program with another 100+ youth and young adults, but not before an airport send-off by some of the Georgian participants!
Busy day in Georgia! First day of DtC workshops for 4 groups of youth and young adults, a technical meeting at the well equipped Griboedov Theater where the DtC performance will take place this Friday at 7pm (Tbilisi time), emergency repairs to some BDC costumes at a local costume seamstress, and a birthday dinner for G.Ben, BDC’s production director for the tour, at a traditional Georgian restaurant called ‘Shadow of Metekhi’ !
Amazing day in Tbilisi complete with strange nuts covered in caramel jelly that look like candles, wine tasting, pedestrian off-roading, views to take your breath away, a bit of barre work at the fortress, sulfur baths with coffee scrubs and turkish tea. Sigh…now THAT is a day off!