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Dance review: 'more more more ... future' performed at REDCAT

October 6, 2011 | 11:55 am

Faustin Linyekula
Choreographer Faustin Linyekula’s “more more more … future,” which opened Wednesday at REDCAT, is protest art, a dance-music-poetry slam and, most profoundly, an appeal to, and for, humanity.

Its central messages are delivered straight up in its narration: Stop killing in the name of politics; stop chasing material goods. Give all the people a future of peace and dignity. The piece decries, and was inspired by, the decades of civil wars that have killed millions (it is estimated) in Linyekula’s homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

But the honest plaints that enliven this 90-minute rock ’n’ roll dance are universal and have captured the imaginations of people worldwide, as news reports show daily. With a cast of eight, Linyekula’s aim is not to shock with a literal depiction of war. He seeks to rally and engage -- to invite in the viewer. In that, he succeeds.

Like ancient Greek drama, “more more more … future” is driven by a poetic text, written by Linyekula’s childhood friend and a former rebel fighter, Antoine Vumilia Muhindo.

The two narrators, an emotionally searing gentleman called Le Coq and the charismatic Pasnas, delivered the French poetry with the urgent tones of an emergency situation. They exhorted and occasionally screamed. Helpful English supertitles were projected on the backdrop.

An onstage three-piece band, with Patou Tempète Kayembe on drums, Rémi Bassinta Nightness on bass and led by guitar virtuoso and composer Flamme Kapaya, played an infectious score based on decades-old Congolese pop rhythms; its latest incarnation is the popular but controversial Ndomobolo. Kapaya has turned it into foot-tapping protest music. It pounded but also cajoled. Kapaya’s quieter melodies soothed. 

Dancers Linyekula (small and sinewy), Dinozord (with a mohawk) and Papy Ebotani functioned as the Greek chorus. Their actions symbolized the text’s deeper meanings. Down on all fours, they butted one another like goats, then futilely collapsed; a shoving match suggested lawless anarchy. 

Momentum sputtered three-fourths of the way through, when the entire cast gathered in an upstage circle of call and response, followed by a confusing interlude of darkness. At the end, Linyekula suggested that the responsibility for a bright future lies with Everyman, as pictures of the artists were set against a photograph of a stunning sky.

-- Laura Bleiberg

‘more more more … future,’ Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako, REDCAT, 631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles. 8:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. $20 and $25. (213) 237-2800 or www.redcat.org. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Photo: Faustin Linyekula’s “more more more … future." Credit: Agathe Poupeney

 


 
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