Ein Brief aus Luanda
A smoky haze envelops the sprawling outskirts of the Angolan capital of Luanda as dusk turns to dark. Dust blows as piles of rubbish burn, sending plumes of thick black smoke into the air. In the distance, small children run in and out of the alleyways of this shanty-town, as others stroll the streets irreverently. Vendors sell trinkets, slippers and foodstuffs. Car horns echo in the distance as large trucks stir up the grimy streets.
In this unlikely setting, high above a rectangular concrete building overlooking this Luanda suburb, the crisp pulsating of a single marimba, a precursor to the xylophone, is heard as two young musicians play the hypnotic rhythm.
A marimba beats and pulsates quicker and quicker as almost thirty dancers suddenly appear on the concrete floor with delineated geometric movements, following slow and defined rhythmic steps. A small generator hums in the foreground, lighting the space as a fire burns in another corner of the dance floor.
The group suddenly and simultaneously breaks into sensuous gyrations of the behind as whistles and traditional drums – the tumba – begin to beat frantically. The dancers then develop into what seems like a trance-like state ...