In another place and time, I was a dancer. Specifically, a ballerina. Last Sunday, I got the chance to be an African dancer extraordinaire! From my seat, anyway.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I never did my research on Fela Kuti before going to see the show. I knew of him and of his music but not much about his story. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti: a Nigerian musician, composer, activist and revolutionary. Fela! the musical tells the story of Kuti in the 1970s, at the height of his career and also his contempt for Nigeria’s corrupt government. I can imagine him thinking to himself, “man, I just want to make music that incites political unrest, smoke weed, and make love to my many wives”. Lol. Kuti was a rebel with a cause and a message in his music.
Fela! was beautifully directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winning Bill T. Jones. I was mesmerized by the provocative and lively performance. Fela’s interactive and hilarious character helped make the show an outstanding experience.
..to now on broadway
I am a firm believer and supporter of the arts. I believe that music has the power to transform and inspire generations of people and movements. Fela! confirmed for me what I’ve always known: there is no life without music. Lets continue to utilize this art form to change the world.
If the broadway show ever stops by your area, I would encourage you to see it. Check out dates here.