Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, in collaboration with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, organized a contemporary German dance production titled ‘In the Skin of the Other’ on Friday evening at the Experimental Theatre Hall, BSA.
This dance production was staged as a part of the ongoing ‘Young Choreographers’ Platform 2018’ project initiated by Goethe-Institut Bangladesh.
Director of Goethe-Institut Bangladesh Dr Kirsten Hackenbroch and Director General of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Liakat Ali Lucky jointly inaugurated the staging of the programme. Dr Kirsten Hackenbroch expressed her gratitude to Liakat Ali Lucky for his outstanding support to the Young Choreographers’ Platform project and for providing scope for artistic expressions of young talents on stage.
The German-based Togolese choreographer Kossi Sebastien Aholou-Wokawui was invited for the first time to perform in Bangladesh. ‘In the Skin of the Other’ was choreographed by Kossi Sebastien Aholou-Wokawui, and presented on stage by the choreographer himself along with another noted German choreographer and dancer Tomas Bünger. The performance depicted a trans-cultural dance dialogue, a choreographic initiation into the culture of the other that attempts to understand life through dance.
Kossi Sebastian Aholou-Wakawui was born in Togo but is now based as in Germany as a contemporary dance choreographer, thus he himself depicts a choreographic initiation into the culture of the other. Togo was once a German colony and Kossi invited the German dancer and choreographer Tomas Bünger into a research on their two different biographies by asking the question: How close can I come to a different person? Beside the historical weight and in times of separation, distance and fear, they go the other way – into the skin of the other. They explore how it feels to be “in the skin of the other”, to enter into each other’s bodies’ gestures, memories and knowledge.
With respect and as friends they try to understand life through dance. Facing the growing xenophobia in the world, the two dancers intend to do its reversal. Kossi Sebastian Aholou-Wakawui, who moved from Togo to the Bremen dance scene in 2014, and Bremen based German dancer and choreographer Tomas Bünger, who has been working in Bremen as well as internationally for decades, celebrate a humorous, liberating discovery of one’s own in the other and vice versa. Kossi will continue to perform this piece in Togo and Germany in 2019.
Kirsten Hackenbroch also thanked Tomas Bünger and Kossi Sebastien Aholou-Wokawui for their culturally highly sensitive, caring and tireless practice to make the programme successful.