An exploration of rhythms and melody directed for the whole sensory apparatus.
In the Tabanka Dance Ensemble's performance Jazz Ain't Nothing but Soul, the audience will be closer to the dance and music than is usually possible. Sitting on the floor around the stage, the audience will get to feel the rhythms of the drums and the dancers' feet. Light and smoke effects create moods that point backwards in time and towards our own present.
The performance is a journey to the historical origins of jazz dance, but it also addresses the struggle here and now, in movements such as Black Lives Matter. The performance can be read as a contribution to the ongoing debate on racism, discrimination and decolonization - but also as a rich tribute to African survival and the power that lies in dance, song and rhythms.
The singer and composer Monica Ifejilika performs the music together with Mali's leading percussionist Sidiki Camara and the Spellemann-nominated singer Stian Ehiabhi Omole Jensen, among others. The Tabanka Dance Ensemble uses the Talawa technique, a system based on African and Caribbean dance traditions where polyrhythmics – several simultaneous rhythms – is a central element. In Jazz Ain´t Nothing but Soul, the dance is inextricably linked to the music, and the musicians and dancers draw strength from each other.