This is a performance, sculptural and video installation mapping the musical, medicinal and mystic connections linking bodies, water and percussion. A probe stimulating meaning from history, deficiency to healing from the intersection points of water, bodies and the art of drumming. This 30 minute multiple language oral folk recital goes with a sculptural assemblage of discarded water containers and projected visuals with sounds made in Parisian neighbourhoods.
Water was the middle passage transport medium and tap dance sprung out of unease and inventiveness. Also, women from Cameroon’s Baka and rural Venezuela practice water drumming passed on from generation to generation. Interestingly, the human body which is about 70% water goes through clinical percussive examination to determine presence or absence of fluid in body areas for pathological symptoms. Many organisms use vibrations in the ground to find mates, escape from predators or locate water, example; seismic signals produced by elephants can travel about 20 miles in the ground.
Furthermore, the unrest where aqueducts cannot channel to populations due to water shortage, like in parts of Greater Accra where the artist is from, there’s shuffling to points of water discharge. In places with fresh water scarcity due to high pollution, lack of piping infrastructure, heavy metal contamination, leaked septic systems or contaminated wells, women and girls usually assume the social role of fetching and carrying water, sometimes for miles, and by so doing slack behind in the pursuit of employment and school education. They wait in long queues to fetch water, while inadvertently making thumping sounds with feet and water storage containers.
There’s the generational feministic heritage in Cameroon’s Baka, Aka and Efe as well as rural Venezuela, where women have used water drumming as a communication tool to draw men from the farmlands for interactions. The culture also has a link with mysticism of Encantos. Today’s woman is less interested in partaking in the activity as she is caught up in the world of modernity. The work is also a historical meditation on jazz of the feet, which originated with African dancers in early America, articulating rhythmic communication codes through theatrical movements when drums were no more allowed.
Another definition of tap dance is “an action or discourse intended to rationalize or to distract” mostly practiced by politicians to skirt around issues. — It was part of “Mothership Connection” an artistic programme within Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2017 organised by Artlantic & Sorte Firkant. “Mothership Connection” commemorates the centennial of US Virgin Islands’ “Transfer Day” 2017 – when Denmark sold their Caribbean colony to The US. The artistic programme invites audiences and artists to collectively explore what will happen if we dislocate the word “transfer” from its stifling historical context and approach “transfer” as a conceptual, dynamic and artistic window for thinking about how culture, memory and spirit, travel, adapt and take on new forms?
“Mothership Connection” approaches Jazz to trace a lineage from blues, jazz, soul, rap, spoken words and Afro Futurism to create a spiritual journey and affective map that will generate routes and relationships between our shared and interconnected histories and geographies. The title “Mothership Connection” lends its inspiration from George Clinton & Black Audio Film Collective’ s film The Last Angel of History (1996). The programme was supported by The Danish Arts Foundation, Nørrebro Lokaludvalg & Københavns Musikudvalg.
QUEUE TO THE TAP DANCE I was a reading, sculptural and video performance fusion organised by Artlantic & Sorte Firkant at Copenhagen on Monday July 10, 2017.
Multilingual Poetry: Kwame Write in Paris, Accra, Copenhagen:
MOTHERSHIP CONNECTION: Musical Exploration of Denmark’s Colonial Legacies:
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