Back & Forth to Lagos | Arts.21 - The Culture Magazine | DW | 07.08.2020
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Back & Forth to Lagos

Ballet to build bridges? Modern African dance to shake up the stagnant German dance scene? Choreographer Richard Siegal shows how it's done during a workshop in Lagos, Nigeria. With striking results!

Watch video 26:06

15 dancers from all over the world came together to take a chance on a new dance company, led by one of the most innovative and exciting choreographers of our time. Dancers of the "Ballet of Difference" are more diverse than one would ever imagine from the world of classical ballet. They're from various cultural backgrounds and come from completely different types of dance school. But they are united by an unconditional desire to pave the way for dance.

Richard Siegal's "Ballet of Difference" is created in a way that sets itself apart from traditional pointe ballet. UNITXT is one of Siegal's pieces - a powerful, visceral dance developed for the Bavarian state ballet. Much of it was created in Lagos, Nigeria, during a workshop organized by the Goethe-Institut together with West African dancers. Siegal and a handful of the dancers from his company went there in October 2018.

Impulses from Africa are what drive the regeneration of this old European artform. It's a fusion of diverse dance cultures, with the human body as a universal medium of expression.