Movement (R)evolution Africa (a story of an art form in four acts) (65min, 2007)
producer/director: Joan Frosch
co-director/editor: Alla Kovgan

director of photography: Jeff Silva

Artists: Company Kongo Ba Téria (Burkina Faso), Faustin Linyekula and Studios Kabako (Democratic Republic of Congo), Company Rary
(Madagascar), Sello Pesa (South Africa), Company TchéTché (Côte d'Ivoire),
Company Raiz di Polon (Cape Verde), Company Jant Bi (Senegal) and Kota
(Japan), Nora Chipaumire (Zimbabwe), Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and members of Urban Bush Women (USA).

"the film is a knockout" - Village Voice, January 2007
"... Movement (R)evolution Africa...summates all the riches and frustrations of Africa and the festival itself. Through interviews and performances from nine African choreographers, directors Joan Frosch and Alla Kovgan reveal how a community of artists has chosen to communicate the myriad passions and troubles of their homeland through dance. Revering the body as a form of fluid sculpture, these fierce artists from across the continent adapt conventional dance to their unique sense of self, hoping to engage with everyone—whites and the African diaspora alike—in order to challenge the West's stereotypical ideas of Africa. Movement is their voice and it screams in the film, "Africa must speak!" - Village Voice, April 2007 (African Film Festival)

Past Festivals and Screenings:


Geeme (Union),
Company TchéTché (Côte d'Ivoire)

photo: Alla Kovgan


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Nora Chipaumire (Zimbabwe/USA)

photo: Elazar C. Harel
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Fagaala (Genocide) ,
Company Jant Bi (Senegal)

photo: Alla Kovgan
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"Same But Different",
Sello Pesa (South Africa)

photo:Sarah Prior
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"Tryptich Untitled" ,
Faustin Linyekula and Studios Kabako
(Democratic Republic of Congo)
photo: Alla Kovgan
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Vin Nem (Light),
Company Kongo Ba Téria
(Burkina Faso)
photo: Sarah Prior
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"Two without Three",
Raiz di Polon
(Cape Verde)
photo: Jeff Silva

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Synopsis (one-liner):
Stunning choreography and riveting stories of nine African choreographers unveil soul-shaking responses to the beauty and tragedy of 21st century Africa.

Synopsis (50 words):
In an astonishing exposition of choreographic fomentation, nine African choreographers tell stories of an emergent art form and their diverse and deeply contemporary expressions of self. Stunning choreography and riveting critiques challenge stale stereotypes of "traditional Africa" to unveil soul-shaking responses to the beauty and tragedy of 21st century Africa.


Dominant media images of Africa commonly project a vast, undifferentiated land steeped in tradition and ensnared in a web of poverty, HIV/AIDS, and political turmoil. Personal and humanizing attention to Africa often hinges to the ironic beneficence of international rock stars. Where are the stories of fiercely creative African individuals and what do they have to tell us about their lives? Meet Movement (R)evolution Africa’s choreographic trendsetters. Hailing from Senegal to South Africa, the perspectives and creative processes of these dancers and choreographers present fresh images of Africa, and bring to life the continent’s contemporary identity. As they juxtapose reflection, rehearsal and performance, the artists open a window onto the emergent choreographic landscape of Africa in the 21st century, and ignite a new understanding of today’s Africa and the global society of which we are all a part.

Combining innovative narrative techniques and striking footage of dancers at work in the studio and on stage, Movement (R)evolution Africa explores an astonishing exposition of choreographic fomentation. The choreographers reveal emotionally complex and deeply contemporary expressions of self. Faustin Linyekula, exiled survivor of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eight-year war, muses whether his body his only “true country.” Germaine Acogny, mother of Senegalese contemporary dance, exorcises the assassin in herself as she creates a work on the Rwandan genocide. Through her choreography, Ivorian Béatrice Kombé explores love and union in the context of life in a country that has abused the trust of so many of it citizens. Nora Chipaumire excavates her painful Zimbabwean past in the context of a jarring American present. Sello Pesa explores traditions as abstractions, while Madagascar’s Ariry Andriamoratsiresy offers new ways to think about the meaning of “African” in “African dance.” The Burkinabe choreographers and directors of Kongo Ba Téria, Lacina Coulibaly and Souleyman Badolo, crystallize a riveting response to desertification. Choreographers Rosy Timas and Elisabete Fernandes render comic slices of urban and rural life in Cape Verde while questioning the staging of female sensuality. Renowned African-American choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar engages the viewer in empathy-filled first-hand interactions with the featured African choreographers.

The sum of these artists’ stories is a deeply human encounter with creativity that positions African choreographic innovation as a veritable aesthetic revolution. Their stunning choreography and riveting stories challenge stale stereotypes of “traditional Africa” to unveil soul-shaking responses to the beauty and tragedy of 21st century Africa.

Short Bios:

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Joan Frosch (producer/director) explores 21st century artmaking through the voices of often previously marginalized artists and
thinkers, including the emergent voices of contemporary dancers and choreographers in Africa, and the African Diasporas of France and the USA. Joan's 30 year creative path encompasses making and directing dance theatre, writing as a dance ethnographer/activist, and, now, directing her first documentary feature. She graduated from California Institute of the Arts, Laban Institute of Movement Studies, and Columbia University. At present, Joan is Professor of Dance and co-Director of the award-winning Center for World Arts at the University of Florida, and a founding member of the The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium (USA).

Alla Kovgan (co-director/editor) is a Boston-based filmmaker/intermedia artist/curator, born in Moscow, Russia. Her films have been screened at numerous venues around the world including Boston Museum of Fine Arts, New York Dance on Camera Festival at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and others. Among Alla's most recent endeavors is co-directing and editing “Traces of the Trade: a Story from the Deep North” by Katrina Browne about the role of the North in the US slave trade; co-producing with Russian filmmaker Efim Reznikov “Terpsychore's Captives II”, a feature documentary about Bill T. Jones and a Russian prima ballerina Natalia Balakhnicheva; and working with Kinodance Company, on a new intermedia performance "Denizen" that will premiere in May 2007 as a part of Bank of America Celebrity Series. Alla has been teaching and curating dance film and avant-garde cinema worldwide and acts as an International Director of St. Petersburg Dance Film Festival KINODANCE.

Technical Info:

Running Time (theatrical version): 65 minutes
Year of Release: 2007
Shooting Format: DVCAM NTSC
Projection Format: Digital Beta (PAL or NTSC), BETA SP (PAL or NTSC), DVCAM (PAL or NTSC)
Aspect Ratio: available in 16x9 and 4x3
Languages: English, French, Wolof, Portuguese, Japanese, Shona, Lingala
Subtitles: English (also available with French subtitles)

© 2012, Movement (R)evolution
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