We’re happy to report that the artists have arrived safely in their homes abroad, and the tour in America was a great success! We couldn’t have been more thrilled to have Faustin, Virginie, their two kids, Almasi and Loys (ages 8 and 10, respectively), and Panaibra and Jorge (FYI, pronounced like George, with a soft “g”) all in our midst.
We had a great set of shows at BRIC during their first week, thanks to a first-time partnership between BRIC and 651 ARTS (and MAPP, of course). It was very important to MAPP to be able to have these artists in our hometown for a few days; our gratitude goes out to both organizations for coming together, sharing resources, and making this possible.
While they were here, MAPP/The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium hosted an Artist Exchange with Panaibra and Faustin. We invited local artists to meet them and participate in informal conversations around “Artist-Citizen,” its impact on society, and how home is manifested through one’s creative work. The group also delved deeply into identity, (a theme prevalent in both Faustin and Panaibra’s work) and around community, or how Faustin and Panaibra leverage the arts to build community and inspire those around them. We’ve since received great feedback from participants and their gratitude to us for creating a space for honest, thought-provoking conversation with a dynamic group of artists. A number of them also expressed that the conversation proved timely, as they constantly negotiate these very issues while producing and presenting their work.
Spectacular Wisdom & Kindred Spirits…
Their performances at The Flynn Center were very well-received. Steve MacQueen, Artistic Director at The Flynn couldn’t have said it better, really:
“It was an absolutely spectacular and special double-whammy of extraordinary artistry. I loved it as much as anything I’ve seen in a long time. Both pieces were profound and magical, so very different, yet so perfect together. Tim, Faustin, Panaibra and Jorge were all a complete treat to work with. Joy abounds.”
As part of their engagement at The Flynn, they taught master classes at the University of Vermont. Here are Panaibra and Jorge with some of the dance students:
One dancer/blogger there attended both shows and wrote up a really nice review. I tend to agree with her when she says, “I am richer for the dance wisdom of Faustin and Panaibra.”
The next stop on the tour was Minneapolis, where The Walker Art Center kept them busy as artists-in-community. They did a site visit and friendly reception at artist-activist organization Juxtaposition Arts (an organization Faustin said was “kindred spirits” with his and Panaibra’s own); a discussion with University of MN dance students, and master classes with the local dance community. The Walker even partnered with a local music venue to present a pop-up concert in the lobby by Dur-Dur Band from Somalia, right before Panaibra’s performance; it all made for a vibrant evening of performance from Africa.
Check out The Walker’s blog for the behind-the-scenes of some of those events.
Great pictures, great press!
Here are a couple of great new photos taken by David Andrako at the BRIC/651 ARTS shows here in New York: