Away from the past to future

Monday February 3 2020

planet

A scene from Planet Kigali, a dance presentation at Kimisagara Youth Center.  Photo | Andrew.I Kazibwe  

ANDREW I KAZIBWE
By ANDREW I KAZIBWE
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How will it feel like travelling from the past into the future? Planet Kigali, a newly established stage production defines this test of time, through its live stage to connect the past to future.

This follows its past performances in Germany’s Hamburg, where it had its grand premiere, then Stuttgart and Berlin.

Since inception in 2018, the cross-cutting performance has gradually evolved into a unique stage presentation, the dance presentation held its official premiere recently in Kigali.

Onto stage, the dance presentation makes a unique entry; with darkness taking stage, only fog in dim light is seen, as unidentified individuals, wearing ornamented motorcycle helmets make way from the audience to the stage.

The celebrated dance piece starring Everest Karinganire, Sarah Lasaki, Laura Böttinger, Wesley Ruzibiza, Frank Koenen, and Eliane Umuhire, which took stage at Kigali’s Kimisagara Youth Centre is set in a reverse perspective, where six time travellers from the future land in their past to explore the present.

It brings together stories from Rwanda and Germany, images and situations from the past and the future connecting. The production cautions the present times, which are more focused onto the future times, but curious, and yearning for the history.

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With the fast-paced advancement being embraced today, it poses a question as to whether and how society’s cultural roots are still intact, and preserved.

Directed by Yolanda Gutiérrez and Jens Dietrich from Germany and Rwanda’s Dorcy Rugamba, the production is organised by Rwanda’s East African Nights of Tolerance(EANT) Festival and Amizero Kompagnie, with the support of the Kulturstiftung Des Bundes, IFA (Institut für Auslandsbezlehungen), Hamburg Kulturbehhörde, Political Bodies, Kigali Goethe Institut, Hamburgische Kulturstiftung, Kampnagel and Rwanda Arts Initiative.

Planet Kigali emerges as a sole sphere that entwines cultures, from two different worlds; Rwanda from Africa and Germany from Europe, a communication exercised through live dance presentations.

This is accompanied by an on spot production of sound effects. The leg dance movement is uniquely rhythmically produced on stage by a participant’s thud on dark rectangular plates, which amplify the sound for the thump to be felt.

Also is the incorporation of music, which transitions from modern to traditional folk music. The dance production created in 2018 quite poses a unique challenge into its execution, which encompasses both the, modern and contemporary dance, well depict the western culture, while the Rwandan body and Arm and leg movement further paint the Rwandan past dance culture.

With this, Karinganire, who is part of this piece takes a lead, as he entwines the Rwandan traditional dance movement with poetic song verses, which the entire cast follows suit. The act who has since childhood been groomed into a tactical phenomenon Rwandan dancer takes on some scenes, showcasing his expertise in the dance craft.

Though the entire presentation is one hour and fifteen minutes, the Kigali premiere was set for fifty minutes due to production logistics, since it required real cost in production which wasn’t readily available according to Wesley Ruzibiza, one of the participants.

“We have been creating several productions, but with this, it portraits that with Rwanda it’s not only about the genocide, but there is also a rich culture and tradition in history, which we wanted to connect to the broader world,”he said.