2nd rehearsal yesterday morning, gathered for Femi Osofisan’s work-in-process, NOT ALL CANOES SAIL BACK HOME, took place in Rehearsal Room 3..
..the space collects not only our artists of Sunday, who are performing as “Maya”, “Maryse”, and “Efua” – but now dancers, Cheikh Bassene and Yerodin Sanders, choreographer, Becky Umeh, and musician, 4 Joseph Ngwa!
Director Chuck Mike suggest that there are “Some songs I’d like to try and get,” but Baba Joseph’s drumming starts ceremony with a startling percussion that whispers down to heart beat, where pulsation suggests itself into the company, up feet, ankles, legs – hips – torso – arms – hands -fingers, and smiles, tickling children hiding inside this Troupe.
Leaps, applause and laughter.. dance is celebration before spoken words of dialogue, and suddenly, we are arrived in Accra!
..a moment there, Ms Umeh is adding nuance, a percussive step in gyration of a heel -to see if it can work in the characterization.. and now something more – and as she details each step, her eyes fast on each artist in turn, she says, “Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy”, tone on the sway, detail to the beat; accent to the smile. “Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy. Listen, you make a mistake you know – Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy.”
At a moment’s breath, Mr Mike speaks to the cast – “ok. Let’s set up for that. So that we have our spaces,” but means this more specifically as note of the Stage Manager, Elaine Randolph, who creates the set placements: music stands. Drummer seated. Dancers centered.
Tempo high, rehearsal took off in earnest.
NOT ALL CANOES SAIL BACK HOME is being presented as a work in process at 6pm this evening, 4th February 2020, at the Kennedy Center, in the BOUNDLESS: AFRICA literary series.