Fabrice breaks dance boundaries at Festival openning

07:01 by Kaggwa Andrew

He got on a plane from France to open Uganda’s premiere dance festival aptly known as the Dance Week Festival.
Many didn’t turn up to see how graceful his moves would be, but to look and snare at festival organizers’ for always opting for foreign acts to open such shows instead of choosing them.
However in more than a way, Fabrice Lambert proved why someone spent on that air ticket – his one and half performance, became a class for many of the dancers that were around.
He is a rather non-conventional dancer that has embraced the evolving world allowing it to influence his art, process of creation and execution.
Thus, unlike many dancers that have always concentrated on the dance moves, coordination and at times their smartness, Lambert was shamelessly tearing all this apart – for instance, his first performance had him naked technically naked but only disguised in a body tight that covered his body and face but left nothing to imagination.
Dancing from one side of the National Theater entrance to the other, he made sure that his performance leaves a mark – at one point you could have him slither on the ground and at other times he would imitate a monkey.
It was a more sober performance compared to the 2015 spontaneous sessions that saw hip hop dance styles merge with those of dancehall or reggae and they were more accessible and digestible – one didn’t have to be a scientist to get what dancers were trying to say; that is if they had anything to say anyway.
Lambert’s opener was different though, creating illusions in people’s minds and most of them leaving with a task of interpretation.
His first performance was inspired by a snake in its skin saying that much as it doesn’t wear anything, people have never perceived it as naked, in fact, it was one of the major reasons the routine was done from outside, so as to interface with nature.
But the second performance he titled Gravity was the most captivating one, from the way his team manipulated the lights and intended water logged stage and a white screen backdrop – the light would hit the water on stage and then reflect on the white background creating water ripples images.
It was quite a scientific approach to the art as the dancer always kept in synch with the light and thus managing to manipulate it to reflect that his body was turning into things like a flying man, an athlete or a melting ice bag – referred to it as dancing with the surrounding.
He notes that with that performance, his work started with him creating a good relationship with the different kinds of energies, the outcome of the dialogue between the energies is what we saw through the reflections on his white background; “the dialogue between light and the shadow represent the power to fly or do other things.”
Julius Lugaya, the festival director noted that dance is still a relevant art form and that’s why they’ve curated Dance Week for thirteen years now. But even when they are doing their best, the challenges still exist; “Dance doesn’t have an audience.”
For instance, the free of charge opening act had a good attendance, but when people were asked to pay and see the rest of the performances in the auditorium, many chose to leave or simply stay around and drink.
And the theater’s incompetent management doesn’t help things at all, in the past, they’ve had to shift different dance events to smaller places because there has been a double booking, for instance during this edition of Dance Week, a circus show was booked to happen in the auditorium at 7:30pm on both Saturday and Sunday, the same days had though been previously booked by Dance Week organizers.
As a result, many Dance Week fans that showed up earlier for shows ended up leaving after waiting for so long.
The festival ended on Sunday and was graced by other prominent dancers like IDU, Uganda’s representatives at Kenya’s televised dance show Sakata Mashariki, Dance Theater from Makerere, Faisal Damba and Papy Kikuni Victor from DRC among others.
Credits
Photo by Samson Baranga

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