The successful Afrika! Afrika! circus show opens January 17 of 2008 in the UK. Since the world premiere in Frankfurt, Germany, December 2005, more than 1.5 million visitors have experienced and enjoyed the sensual onslaught that is Afrika! Afrika! Curator, André Heller’s rousing discovery of Africa fascinates the audience with its radiant colors, enchanting visual beauty, irresistible rhythms and dazzling energy which pulsates from its tented Palaces.
Andre Heller and the troupe traveled through Africa for two years – between Mali and Morocco, Egypt and South Africa – from coast to coast and into the heart of the continent in aid of sourcing their performers and gathering inspiration for this phenomenal show. This magical circus has been touring across Northern Europe and will leave Amsterdam to descend upon the O2 site from 17th January 2008.
Delivering a breathtaking extravaganza which they hope will excite hundreds of thousands of visitors in London, Afrika! Afrika! celebrates more than 100 artistes, dancers, singers and musicians with unique and special talents. These performers were discovered across 17 different African nations including Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Algeria and Benin, speaking 23 different dialects from a multitude of different religious backgrounds. Afrika! Afrika! is a synthesis of the arts, an African journey and an art exhibit at the circus. Experience the wonderful facets of the continent and be infected by its life-affirming exuberance and vitality.
The show is a unique and extraordinary combination of dance and acrobatics, such as the high wire artists from Tanzania who present themselves with an inexhaustible well of artistic creativity, making the audience hold its breath. There’s a master contortionist, hip-hop break dancers and an exhilarating Gumboot dance. The artists perform their dangerous acts at incredible speeds that demonstrate both artistic and athletic prowess.
André Heller is an influential and successful multimedia artist. His work includes garden shows, processions, as well as new renditions of circus and variety shows. André has worked on films and fireworks spectacles, built labyrinths and produced theatre pieces and shows that have been seen from Broadway to Vienna, from India to China and from South America to Africa.
As this circus theatre is virtually developing out of Africa with the support of the circus schools, it wants to give Africa something in return in the form of a proportion of its proceeds. 70 pence of each ticket sold is spent on promoting cultural projects in Africa in cooperation with UNESCO and the Goethe Institute. For this purpose and for the benefit of African cultures, the “Art in Africa” Foundation of the German Commission for UNESCO was established. Its intention is to effectively support the endeavors of Africa’s population to use their cultural identity in order to gain international recognition for their right to a future. This commitment was also recognized by UNESCO in Paris that took over patronage of Afrika! Afrika! . At an early stage of the preparations, Doudou Diène, a United Nations Special Reporter on Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination manifested his interest in Afrika! Afrika! and has accompanied the undertaking in an advisory function.
The centerpiece of the multi-million pound development is the state of the art arena for up to 20,000 fans that will host over 150 world-class music, entertainment and sport events in its first year of opening. There is also indigO2, a live music venue with a capacity of over 2,300, a ‘bubble’ shaped world-class exhibition space that will host the Tutankhamen exhibition from November 2007, an 11 screen state of the art cinema complex, and a vibrant ‘Entertainment Avenue’ featuring a variety of bars, restaurants, and leisure facilities.
In Zone 2 of London’s Underground, The O2 is situated at North Greenwich station on the Jubilee Line, which provides direct access to central London in less than twenty minutes. The O2 Express High Speed Boat Service runs daily until 1.30am (4.30am on IndigO2 aftershow party nights) so people can get home after the tube has closed. The O2 is an official venue for the 2012 Olympics hosting both the gymnastic and basketball events.
Saturday: 3pm & 8pm
Sunday: 2.30pm & 7pm
Tickets priced £19, £29, £35, £45 & £55 available from 0844 847 1717 or www.aeglive.co.uk
For more information see: www.afrika-afrika.com
Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central