Shakespeare may not have been the first to conceive the story of ‘The Tempest’, but it was his version that turned the story of Prospero, Caliban, Miranda and Ferdinand into one of the most widely adapted of the classical tales of colonialism.
The dancers of the Arpeggio Creative Dance Academy present ‘Shango shango shango ho!’ a dance theatre performance based on Aimè Cesaire’s Une tempête, to be held at the Lionel Wendt on March 16 at 7 .30 pm.
Translated by Asoka de Zoysa and Asanka Ishan Dayapala, the script is titled “Kodewwaka Viplavaya”. For the purpose of the performance however, key scenes which deal with the master-slave, father-son conflicts and post-colonial subtext of the play, have been selected for staging; and the performance will consist of a series of 14 tableaux.
The francophone Caribbean writer Cesaire’s “Une tempête”, while providing new insights to well known characters and their relationships, also deals with the complex dynamics of the relationship between the colonist and the colonized; and the psychological impact of colonization.
The objective being to use dance to good effect in narrating a story, choreographer and producer Nilan Maligaspe, and translator Asoka de Zoysa are all too aware of the challenges involved; but these challenges serves as motivation.
An important difference between the character of Prospero and Sycorax- the previous ruler of the island- is the fact that while Sycorax’s powers were destructive and terrible, those of Prospero inspired beauty. With this in mind, the producers of ‘Shango shango shango ho!’ look forward to presenting a performance not only that showcases the talent of the dancers and provides food for thought, but one that is visually pleasing as well.
The multimedia projections, shadows, reflections and silhouettes created by performers on the screens and curtains on stage will not only create the illusionary ambience of Prospero’s Enchanted Island, but create thinking space for further readings of the movement on stage.
The Arpeggio Creative Dancing Academy was founded 20 years ago by Nilan Maligaspe, as a foundation for students from underprivileged backgrounds to learn modern ballet and creative dance techniques free of charge.
Tickets for the performance are available at the Lionel Wendt and the Goethe Institute.