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French Saxophonist Inspires Chthulucene Thought

MOMPATI TLHANKANE
Maitisong Theatre in Maruapula was on Friday blessed with a virtuosic saxophonist, who could command his dancer with every blow of the horn.

The saxophonist, Clement Duthoit, who is a musician from France, was performing alongside Marcel Gbeffa, a dancer from Benin. The duo was performing a piece called Chthulucene and it was developed last year in Paris.

Chthulucene is a myth formulated by the biologist and philosopher of science Donna Haraway in her book Staying With The Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016). Its purpose is to rewrite the history of evolution “In a much more modest tone, in the spirit of sociability emanating from all the communities that make a life together”.

Marcel Gbeffa and Clément Duthoit decided to freely inspire the Chthulucene thought theorised by Donna Haraway. Somewhat humble, the Beninese choreographer and the French saxophonist formulate their answer. During this ritual, the two artists reach out to the public in an invitation to rethink their relationship with the other and the world.

One thing noticeable about Clément Duthoit is that his playing was so distinctive, phenomenal and influential that it truly stood out amongst countless other horn players locally. With a warm

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and relaxed tone he could complement Marcel Gbeffa in various styles. 

The French brass player could play at dizzying tempos and also as well as excel in the high record. His masterful toning had the Benin dancer rolling on the floor, as if he was preening like a bird. 

Although before Marcel Gbeffa rolled on the entire Maitisong floor, he was accompanied by local dancers who formed part of the piece.  They began by running in and out of the stage like they feared for their lives. They eventually collapsed on stage and as each one rolled out of visibility Marcel Gbeffa was the only one left to feast on the chords of the French saxophonist.

Marcel Gbeffa is quite an interesting dancer and his body movements were showy. He could move his backside and shimmy his shoulders as Clément Duthoit blew his horn to direct the Beninese choreographer’s moves.  It was a distinctive piece and at some point Marcel Gbeffa interacted with his audience as per the requirement of the ritual.



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