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Curators’ Statement

Wakatt is a performance by an author and choreographer originally from Burkina Faso, which questions the idea of otherness and the fear of the other, thus criticizing colonial practices through a unique dance language. Serge Aimé Coulibaly's intense interweaving of fear and anger woven into the virtuoso performance of ten dancers accompanied by live music on stage offers a picture of a world ruled by paranoia, non-acceptance, and senseless aggression against everything we are unfamiliar with. At a time of wars, rising nationalisms and increasing distance between people, Wakatt encourages resistance to such tendencies while opening space for thinking about a common and fairer future.

About the Performance

The title Serge Aimé Coulibaly has chosen for his new piece, Wakatt, is a word of Arabic origin meaning “our era”, in Dioula, his mother tongue. It reflects his duality, working and living in both Bobo-Diolasso, the city where he was born, and Brussels, his adopted home. As always with this choreographer, politics lies at the core of his research. After Kalakuta Republik, inspired by Fela Kuti, but also totally rooted in the realities of Burkina Faso, he is now exploring the dynamics of fear and manipulation, but also those of desire and beauty. With ten dancers and the musician-composer Magic Malik, Coulibaly sheds a sensitive light on today’s sordid realities, while holding onto hope with the full force of body and spirit, in a dance that lives completely in the moment.

Wakatt had its world premiere in September 2020 at Tanzhaus Düsseldorf (DE) and Théâtre National Wallonie-Bruxelles (BE) and has since been touring all over Europe, as well as       USA (New York) and Africa (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso).

The Author

SERGE AIMÉ COULIBALY is a dancer and choreographer from Burkina Faso. He was born in Bobo-Dioulasso, and has worked in Europe and the rest of the world since 2001. His inspiration is rooted in African culture and his art is committed to the necessity of powerful contemporary dance. A dance rooted in emotion but also the bearer of reflection and hope. His vigorous expressiveness makes his work universal and finds a response on several continents. Since he set up his Faso Dance Théâtre company in 2002, Serge Aimé Coulibaly has been exploring complex themes, with the desire to offer young people a genuine positive dynamism. His productions have been presented in many theatres all over Europe and Africa and also been invited to several festivals.

From the Reviews

“What kind of performance could we make to feed people’s souls and go beyond survival? Somehow, Wakatt is trying to answer that question, too. Even though it is not a cheerful one…”
Jean-Marie Wynants, Le Soir

Wakatt is not only a dance, it’s a state of being.”
Gia Kourlas, The New York Times

 “Wakatt is a piece that rushes back and forth between hope and fear, revolt and dejection, ecstasy and insanity.
Michaël Bellon, Bruzz