© Danny Willems

The voices we need today

Moya Michael presents the third of her enchanting Coloured Swans creations. For this latest one she sourced inspiration from, among others, Lagos, forms of spirituality and the voices of young Afro-Belgian talents. At the request of the KVS communications team, Moya Michael lifts a tip of the veil.

With Harriet’s ReMix you are working on the third part of your series Coloured Swans. In the first part you dance yourself, for the second part you collaborated with David Hernandez, and this time you picked three young artists: Loucka Fiagan, Oscar Cassamajor and Milo Slayers. What is the philosophy behind these collaborations?

‘I see this as a sort of umbrella concept. I wanted to create a series of solos in which we could work with various themes, ideas, concepts and stories that fit together under one umbrella. That’s why I invite artists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to exchange methods and stories with. That way we can expose the complexity of our experiences, let them interweave and culminate in one overarching creation, where every encounter leads to a new solo.’

What direction do you want to take for this third solo?

‘I have no fixed plan yet. I’m still looking at lots of options at the moment. I do know that this solo will be about the future. The future of the future of our future! The last two solos dealt with ancestry, heritage, our predecessors, the past ... With this creation I want to turn the spotlights to the future, still in relation with the present and past. And I am collaborating with three artists this time, so maybe it won’t be a solo at all ...’

These young artists are the voices we need today but don’t hear enough of. Or maybe we just aren’t listening well enough?

Why did you specifically pick three young artists of Afro- Belgian descent?

‘Because, in Nina Simone’s words, they’re “young, gifted and Black”. And moreover, they are the future, and they each create work that is refreshing, challenging and punk, with Afro highlights. I know they will sharpen my aesthetic and that I will learn a lot from their vision of the future. And I hope they will also be able to develop new ways to express their creativity. But most of all: these young artists are the voices we need today but don’t hear enough of. Or maybe we just aren’t listening well enough?’

In February you travelled to Lagos, the Nigerian capital, with the three artists and KVS city dramaturge Tunde Adefioye. Why was that trip important for the creation?

‘Originally the plan was to go to Lagos for the festival danceGATHERING, but then I realised it would be good to travel to Nigeria as a team and completely immerse ourselves. It’s mostly a research trip. With Harriet’s ReMix we want to explore certain themes, including spirituality. We are all very interested in Ifá: a Yoruba religion and system of idolatry that formed the matrix for other spiritual expressions like Candomblé, Santería and Voodoo. We want to explore this spiritual state of being and see where that leads us for the performance.’

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