Empower Guinea

2008 performance by Ballet Echeo d'Afrique from Guinea, West Africa. Please note video was created in Guinea by a local videographer and is not of the best quality (although the dancers and the performance are!).

Video and choreography (c) Lansana Camara
Video courtesty of Ilona Berzups

// THE PERFORMANCE STORY

A woman's son is sick and the village "fetish/mascot?" says she has to go into the forest to get a monkey, need his blood to make medicine. She asks the village people for their help. The costumed men (Konden-like) are bodyguards of the fetish/mascot, they all dance together, she crys, my son is sick, please help me to go to the forest for the monkey. The villagers agree to help her. The men of the village take up arms to get a monkey. After they find the monkeys and they finish their dance they take one of the monkeys back to the village.

The monkey taken to the village is the son of a big forest monkey. The father monkey then kidnaps one of the young girls washing clothes. The villagers gather bananas, pinapples and food to bring to the father monkey to return the young girl but he doesn't want the fruit, he wants his 'son' back. The villagers return to the village to get the monkey's son and then return him to his father in exchange for the young girl.

The mother cries that she needs the monkey's blood to help her son get well but the villagers say they cannot help her. She returns to the forest with her son and cries for the monkey's help. The father monkey comes and takes the woman's son and plays with him. Her son is happy playing with the monkey and is feeling better. The woman thanks Allah for making her sone better, and the father monkey gives the boy back to the mother, they are all happy.

// THE PERFORMANCE TEACHINGS

The performance is to raise awareness amongst Africans to stop killing monkeys for food and medicine. It is not right to kill these animals.

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Empower Guinea

Ilona Berzups

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