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This week: don’t miss “African punk rock”

This Thursday is an especially rich Target Free Thursday Night for Performing Arts, with a free poetic/performative lecture-demonstration at 6:00 pm by Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula and guitarist Flamme Kapaya that precedes their two-night run of more more more…future at the Walker Friday and Saturday. The Artist Talk will be followed by a short Q&A, […]

photo by Agathe Poupeney

This Thursday is an especially rich Target Free Thursday Night for Performing Arts, with a free poetic/performative lecture-demonstration at 6:00 pm by Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula and guitarist Flamme Kapaya that precedes their two-night run of more more more…future at the Walker Friday and Saturday. The Artist Talk will be followed by a short Q&A, and then I recommend that you head over to the Walker Cinema for a free screening of the Staff Benda Bilili documentary at 7:30. Since Staff Benda Bilili were forced to cancel their entire American tour, including their show planned for the Cedar next week, this film is the closest glimpse of the band the Twin Cities will get for now.

Friday and Saturday, Faustin Linyekula’s evening-length dance & music performance will have its U.S. debut tour opening in the McGuire Theater. The title of the performance, more more more…future, is a positive inversion of punk rock’s slogan of no future (think the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen”), and guitar god Flamme Kapaya filters the Congolese music of ndombolo through the sounds of punk rock. The piece is equal parts music and dance, as Flamme Kapaya leads a live band onstage and focus shifts between them and the movers.

In talking about the piece, Mr. Linyekula has referenced Antonio Gramsci’s idea of “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will,” (head about 2:20 into this video) and more more more…future seems to find idealism and hope in the same places as punk’s anarchy and rage.

The distinctive costumes for the piece were designed by Malian/Parisian-based fashion designer Xuly Bët, whose Funkin’ Fashion Factory atelier has been open in Paris since 1989. Xuly Bët has been named a New York Times Creator of the Year in the past, and has used tags on the outside of his clothing as part of the overall look of his designs (another punk gesture?)

more more more…future promises to be a raucous opening to the Performing Arts season. I would like to say that this is a performance that will appeal to world music-types, dance-lovers, the fashion-curious, people who love guitar music, dancers/choreographers, punk/noise/jazz-heads, the fashion-inspired, people who read the New York Times, people who are interested in communism, other subsets, and the unaffiliated.

Check back on the blogs later this week to read the interview with Faustin Linyekula and Performing Arts Senior Curator Philip Bither.