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Bagamoyo festival is an important art event, held by Taasisi ya Sanaa na Utamaduni Bagamoyo (TaSUBa), that promotes mutual cultural exchange and provides a learning platform for African students. A festival that started in 1982 under the shade of a mango tree, it is a multi-day event that features music, acrobatics, dance, drama, and various other formers of cultural arts. This film is a documentary of the 2009 event.
Albert Shabani Boi lives in Bagamoyo the Coast region in Tanzania. Since 2010, he has been a camera man and editor for a private company. He works with different arts festivals such as the Bagamoyo Festival, Bulabo Festival in Mwanza, and of course the Makuya Festival in Mtwara.
Kathy Perkins sits down with Lisa Mayo (1924-2013) for a retrospective of her career. Shewas a major figure in the Native American theatre community. Mayo was a founding member of Spiderwoman Theatre (1976). Their company is known for being the oldest and longest continuous feminist theatre in the United States. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mayo was professionally trained as a mezzo soprano at the New York School of Music. She studied with such prominent teachers as Uta Hagen and Charles Nelson Riley. With the founding of Spiderwoman Theater, Mayo moved away from the commercial scene and focused more on original works with her sisters and other Native women. They created a technique called “storyweaving” in which they create, design and weave stories with words and movement. With the group Mayo created and performed in at least 20 original works. Additionally, Mayo created one-woman shows, The Pause That Refreshes, My Sister Ate Dirt and Among the Living. In addition to touring internationally with the group, she taught theatre and acting to young people and has directed showcases at the American Indian Community House in New York City
Kathy A. Perkins is Professor of Theatre at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the editor of six play anthologies focusing on women from Africa and the African Diaspora. She is also a professional lighting designer. Since 1981, she has been conducting research on black women behind the scenes in the American theater. Her mission is to bring visibility to black women in American theater, and she endeavors to expose black female designers, producers, directors, playwrights, and artistic directors to a larger audience.
Conquest and Prison is a two-part suite of site-specific dance films set in Grahamstown, South Africa.The two oldest historical sites in Grahamstown are Ft. Selwyn and the Old Gaol, which imprisoned thousands of black South Africans. The choreography of Part I “Oscar’s Journey” is Oscar Buthelezi’s personal response to the history of colonialism commemorated at Ft. Selwyn. Part II “Child’s Play” has a similar approach in “Oscar’s Journey.” “Chorographers Lorin Sookool and Julia Wilson reflect on the past as the sounds and images of the gaol continue to echo and resonate today.
The SOUL OF DANCE is an introduction to the vibrant diversity of contemporary dance in Indonesia. Rooted both in tradition and the idioms of modern movement this half hour documentary introduces audiences to work ranging from site-specific solos to multimedia musical theater.
Jean Isaacs presents an annual festival of site-specific dance in San Diego, CA. Original dances are created alongside San Diego’s iconic red trolleys. The special energy of this event comes from interaction of artists immersed in the community. In this project art and "real-life" are not rigidly distinct realms. The documentary takes a behind the scenes look at the months long process of creation.
Mark Freeman is a Professor of Television, Film and New Media at San Diego State University. He has produced and directed, written and edited programs for broadcast on public television. Freeman's films have won numerous awards. They have screened at museums including the Museo do Oriente (Lisbon), Weltmuseum (Vienna), Hong-Gah Museum (Taipei), Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of Natural History (Washington), the American Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art (NY). Please see markfreemanfilms.org
Sun, Moon, and Feather presents a musical comedy-documentary about three Native American sisters growing up Native in an Italian neighbourhood in Brooklyn during the 1930s and 1940s.
Among the Living: Memories of Lisa Mayo is a selected compilation of video and photographs, of both her solo work and her work with Spiderwoman Theater. It was screened at her Memorial at La Mama ETC in New York City in 2014. She was the oldest of the three sisters who were founding members and formed the core group of Spiderwoman Theater, a theatre group which addresses cultural, social and political issues in the Indigenous and women’s communities. This is a tribute to Lisa’s life. Lisa was a professional classical and musical theatre singer. Her singing style was a crucial contribution to the development of the Spiderwoman Theater technique known as storyweaving. Developed by Artistic Director, Muriel Miguel, this methodology describes personal stories and text, rhythm and language(s), dance, movement, music, sound and image which are embodied, layered and woven togetherto create their plays and productions. This compilation begins with footage from Lisa’s last solo show, Among the Living, which explored the challenges of living with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease; her solo show, The Pause that Refreshes, about menopause; Cabaret which explored the fallacy of romance and Daughters from the Stars which explores their Kuna nation. Each of these shows was brash and brave and ahead of its time. She was a respected elder in the Indigenous community and was a staunch advocate for Indigenous performers to tell and perform their own stories in their own way.
Sisters Lisa Mayo, Gloria Miguel and Muriel Miguel are founding members of Spiderwoman Theater, the longest-running Native American women’s theatre group in the world. Lisa Mayo(Kuna & Rappahannock Nations) was a singer, actor and playwright who wrote and performed with Spiderwoman for 35 years.
To accompany the interview with Lisa Mayo and the two performances from the Spiderwoman Theatre, there is commentary on the career of Lisa Mayo from Jill Carter of the University of Toronto.