An interview with Germaine Acogny

Last week we set off again on our travels, this time to Brussels where Germaine Acogny was performing ahead of her performance at Let’s Dance International Frontiers 2018 (LDIF) next month. Heading off on the Eurostar, we arrived just in time to see Germaine’s performance of Mon Elure Noire (My Black Chosen One) at Les Halles de Schaerbeek.

An old converted indoor market, Les Halles provided a unique performance space for Germaine’s work. The piece itself was very provocative. Set to Stravinsky’s Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring). Germaine is encased within a central box, transfixing the audience and providing a powerful insight. The source for the work being in part, choreographer Maurice Béjart, who fatefully said “You will be my Black chosen one” for Béjart’s performance set to the same music. That performance never happened, but the legacy of those words has prevailed. So it was rather poignant that this performance took place in Brussels where Germaine had first been sent to work with Béjart over forty years before.

The following morning, we were privileged enough to meet with Germaine and her husband Helmut to catch up ahead of her Let’s Dance International Frontiers, and whilst we were with them, have the chance to interview Germaine about the rather different piece of work she will be performing at LDIF18; Á Endroit du Début (Somewhere at the Beginning). Germaine describes how the piece came about, exploring her ancestral heritage and family history. Germaine also spoke about the impact that LDIF18 has made on opening doors to audiences in the UK, all of which can be seen in the video below.

Then it was back on the Eurostar, homeward bound to prepare for Germaine’s return visit in May.