In place of the lecture on Monday this week, I attended a documentary screening about contemporary African dance. For me, this is really interesting because I am in the African drumming ensemble, where we work on historical polyrhythmic pieces. We sometimes watch tribal dances (of the Yoruba people). I also take an African dance class here at Colby, where we focus on dance inspired by the African diaspora. Neither of these two classes reflects what was shown in this film exactly. The choreographers in this film came from places as diverse as Senegal and South Africa. The types of movements representative of each of these countries was visible – it was very interesting to see how the overarching term of African dance is not at all descriptive enough to represent was African dance really means. African dance is so diverse is style, origin, and interpretation, that the term “African dance” really isn’t suitable. In this documentary, each choreographer and dancer was described by their country of origin. There were some from cote d’ivoire, some from the congo, and there was even one choreographer from the US with rooted. The goal of the dancers was to show fresh perspectives on African dance. The same stories and roots, just with more cultural experience, history, and modernity. The dances are all expressions of the self image and culture of the choreographers. Faustin Linyekula is an exiled survivor of the democratic republic of congo. She was present during the Congolese eight-year war. His choreographic style is that his body is his true self and is the epitome of his country. Germaine Acogny is the mother of Senegalese contemporary dance. Her movements are intended to be reminiscent of her life and context within the Rawandan genocide. Her movements are raw, natural, and big. Within the documentary, she spoke with wisdom and confidence, but also with sadness. Beatrice Kombe, from Côte d’Ivoire, journeys through love, and union through the context of an abused and disadvantaged life within a country that has lost the support of so many. Nora Chupaumire’s work embodies her own pain and struggling from her time in Zimbabwe. She juxtaposes this with the societal issues taking place in the united states. A dancer from Madagascar, Ariry Andriamoratsiresy, dances a phrase on what it really means to be African. These artists come together to create an amazing dialog on what it mean to be African, and what it means to be African in a modern context. It freshens the idea of African dance by riffing on African roots while creating and interpreting events in new and unique ways.