The Walker Art Center announced its 2006-2007 performing arts season schedule at a luncheon held in its Skyline Room on June 7th. The aspiring program includes dancers, actors, and musicians worldwide. This coming season the Walker takes a penetrating look into the continent of Africa through a four-part performance series, Africa Now.
November 2nd features the first installment of this series. Malian Habib Koité, joined by his band Bamada will perform along side Vusi Mahlasela from South Africa. Dobet Gnahoré out of the Ivory Coast debuting in both song and dance will also share the stage.
Later in the month, a dance troupe from the Ivory Coast, Compagnie TchéTché, performs. This particular work, Dimi, addresses the social injustice, repressive morality, and enduring patriarchal culture faced by women in Africa.
In February of next year, further political commentary via theater will be addressed by The Farber Foundry as they perform Amajuba, a cast of five men and women who portray growing up in apartheid South Africa.
The fourth installment of Africa Now takes place in April, 2007. Collaborating with the Cedar Cultural Center, the Walker brings eight-piece Gangbé Brass Band from Benin. William and Nadine McGuire Senior Curator, Performing Arts, Philip Bither says, "I’m hoping that the Cedar and Walker can create a tradition of bringing in brass bands."
Though not performing, dance-theater innovator Faustin Linyekula from the Congo will hold a spring residency. He will be showing his solo work, meeting local artists and members of African communities, and begin developing Festival of Lies, a large-scale, performance project involving both members of his company as well as local community members.