Panaibra Gabriel Canda: Look Back, Dance Forward: TALES OF HOME | Congo/Mozambique
The founder of Mozambique’s first contemporary dance company, Canda is one of the continent’s artistic innovators developing an authentic and autonomous African choreographic voice through his body that is deeply expressive and uniquely articulate.
Marrabenta is a musical form born in the 1950s from a mix of local and European influences that carry the complex history of Mozambique, a land of social and political rifts, since earning independence from Portugal in 1975. Accompanied by virtuoso guitarist Jorge Domingos, Canda uses fingers, hands, legs and then muscle and bones to reveal both fragility and strength.
About TALES OF HOME
This two-evening program of intimately scaled dance-theatre features extraordinary contemporary artists from the African continent. Faustin Linyekula and Panaibra Gabriel Canda grapple with the complex histories of their countries through the filtered experiences and relationships with their fathers and their own experiences of dislocation, forced emigration and cultural assimilation. In very different ways, these artists share the rigor and passion of contemporary art in Africa.
The North American tour of Tales of Home: Congo/Mozambique is produced by MAPP International Productions in partnership with The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium. This presentation of TALES OF HOME:Congo/Mozambique was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tales of Home, Life, and Death essay
Tales of Home beckons us to move forward towards our shared future, hastened by the heart, and inspired by the imagination. “But that’s not my world,” audiences may initially think, ironically oblivious to the west’s complicity in African realities, past and present. However, in unexpected moments of performance, we will come to know the human experience anew and take our place beside these artists in the reflection of history.
— Joan Frosch, PhD, Center for World Arts, University of Florida, in her essay Tales of Home, Life, and Death: Panaibra Gabriel Canda and Faustin Linyekula
Preview by The New York Times
Panaibra Gabriel Canda begins his Time and Spaces: The Marrabenta Solos simply, by introducing himself. But introducing himself turns out to be not so simple. As a citizen of Mozambique, born in 1975, the year that nation achieved independence from Portugal, he is or has been, like his country, Portuguese, African, Communist, democratic. Combining and recombining these adjectives of identity, he keeps stopping and restarting — comically, affectingly — as he struggles to define himself.
—The New York Times, November 6, 2014