This weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I will be playing a supporting role in Hééé Mariamou, a play/dance performance written by, directed, and starring Maimouna Coulibaly, Malian dancer/actor from Paris. It will be at the Dance Mission Theater on the corner of 24th and Mission in San Francisco. There will be lot’s Coupe Decale, Kuduro, Dancehall, Zouk, dancing, singing, and more French Urban sounds, as well as music by Malian legends such as Salif Keita, Oumou Sangare. The dancing is amazing, and the energy is really live. She also deals with many issues of African immigrant identity and growing up with a diverse cultural background, ideas that are shared with threads in my own thoughts/work.
Check the video trailer from my previous post, and an excerpt from this article that appeared in yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle.
“My little sister, she’s 20 years old now,” Coulibaly says, “and I know that she’s not really sure of what she is exactly (African, French or Afro-French).”
Through “Mariamou,” Coulibaly says she’s hoping to shed some light on the conflicts she and others face. Her performance mixes a play with African urban dance forms, like N’Dombolo (Congo), and other styles of dance, including modern ballet and street jazz.
The piece is Coulibaly’s way of taking the best of both worlds after years of trying to make everybody happy.
“Now,” she says. “I choose to take only the positive things in each culture.”