"Try to understand what it is," states the gloriously statuesque Gnapa Béatrice Kombé, describing her modern dance troupe TchéTché from the Ivory Coast. "Don't say, 'Ah, this is African dance.' No, it is not African dance. It's a new expression." She might as well be talking about any of the dance companies featured in Joan Frosch and Alla Kovgan's fascinating 2007 documentary about contemporary African dance, Movement (R)evolution Africa. As the opening selection of the Contemporary African Cinema series, this joyous celebration showcases nine of the continent's most agile choreographic talents as they shatter stereotypes about what is dance and what is Africa.
Equally enchanting and formidable is choreographer Faustin Linyekula, who returned to the Congo after eight years in exile. His company, Les Studios Kabako, is renowned for its forceful political message. "There's always a point where explanations are powerless," he says in the film. "Maybe that's where something can begin to happen." Don't doubt him. Today's al fresco screening at Discovery Green will be preceded, appropriately, by the African fusion/jazzy funk sound of Houston's own D.R.U.M. 7:30 p.m. 1500 McKinney. For information, call 713-400-7336 or visit www.discoverygreen.com. Subsequent screenings will be at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For a schedule, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/films. Free.
Fri., June 4, 7:30 p.m., 2010