Peace and Love in Africa
By Bronwyn Judge
Rivers are polluted, National Parks threatened, tussock lands converted to pasture. Modern dance doesn’t seem to cut it as a means of alerting the masses to these alarming changes to our environment and nor, I’ve decided, do years of writing submissions and attending the environment court. So, it was a relief to have the chance of travelling with my African inspired dance teacher, Ra McRostie, to Senegal and Zimbabwe, to realise her dream of visiting Africa and to film the experience. My films never win awards and rarely show at festivals but Choice TV still broadcast 'Tohu' made in 2006 and people want copies.
In the beginning nobody wanted to be filmed so I just listened and pottered about filming chameleon lizards with their independently rotating eyes and hand-like feet. Finally they came and I couldn't stop the flow of ideas they wished to tell the world.
Pape Mbaye was quite clear that if he lived in Senegal he could spend all his time as a master drummer. In his words 'without culture you are nothing'. That is what concerns me in New Zealand. Our dance can be energetic, exciting and spiritual but does it connect us with nature, helping all of us to live in the spirit day by day?
Read the full article (Iss.32)Peace and Love in Africa