Maïmouna Coulibaly and Les Ambianceuses present HEEE MARIAMOU... They want to go to Avignon Festival, the biggest Performing Arts Festival in the world. You can help them with your participation at this fundraising.
This semi-autobiographical piece tells the story of Afro-French dancing sensation Maïmouna Coulibaly – the daughter of African immigrants from Mali– and the adventures and obstacles she and her girl friends experience they struggle to find self-determination while growing up in a gritty French housing project outside of Paris. Heee Mariamou was in 2009 in San Francisco at Dance Mission Theater
Hééé Mariamou is written, choreographed, and directed by Maïmouna Coulibaly.
In Avignon Festival, it will be performed by Kathy Manyongo, Maïmouna Coulibaly, Hervé-Claude Ilin, Neyia, Peggy Deluce, Sarah Zabout
Mix : DJ Merco
Light Designer : Alexis Queyrou
Interview by Kate Brumage with Maïmouna Coulibaly – writer, choreographer, and director of Hééé Mariamou: You were raised in the French project the La Grande Borne. In November of 2005, French projects (“cités”) came to international attention when rioting spread throughout the cités that surround Paris. In the days that followed almost 9,000 vehicles were burned and around 3,000 people were arrested. Were you surprised by this turn of events? No, I wasn't surprised that people turned against the state. For me it seemed natural because when you don't give people the possibility to express themselves positively, they will find another way to do it. For people without other means, it can seem like the only way is violence. When you grow up in a cite, you don't have a lot of hope. For me it was like a revolution; the people from cités want that everybody know that they exist and they are not just invisible. In the midst of all the negative things in the projects you were able to connect with powerful and liberating dance forms. How did you learn to dance and what did dance some to represent for you? I always liked dancing. My parents didn't have enough money to offer dance classes to me and their nine other children, so I first learned dance in front of the TV with Madonna and Janet Jackson's videos. My sisters and I created choreographies in our room to present our "shows" everywhere that we could. For me dance is a beautiful way to express feelings and energy deeply hided in our body, soul and mind. Through dance, I try to express my womanhood and the fact that I’m originally from Africa, but I think that everybody has something different and special to express. How do you think that African American girls living in the housing projects of San Francisco might be able to relate to your story? They can relate to my story because it's about human beings, not just black people. Hééé Mariamou focuses on the struggle to express one’s identity a world where girls and women do not always have the possibility to be like they want. This is an experience I think that people from a lot different origins can probably relate to. Urban African dance forms seem to find a lot of material in contemporary culture. For instance, the dance style Coupé Décalé (from the Ivory Coast) has dance moves with names like “Guantanamo” and “Bird Flu” that seem to riff on the news. Why this focus? It's a way of playing things down. During the civil war that took place in the Ivory Coast during the early 2000's, people were fed up with violence, misery and disease. These dances were created in order to bring a sense of levity and liberation from these kinds of problems. In this way, Coupé Décalé is an antidote to depression, carving out a space for joy and fun in otherwise troubled and stressful times. During San Francisco's Performances After San Francisco's Performances a review in DanceView