Nick Cave and T.Lang presented audiences with a gumbo of tribal dances taken out of the lands of Africa and performed at Ponce City Market to an audience eager to be part of the theatrical spectacle. The unique collaboration between Cave and Lang hosted by Flux Projects resulted in a colorful interactive experience between audiences members, actors and dancers. Lang choreographed the piece and researched rituals of the African Diaspora such as Santeria, a Caribbean religion originated in Yoruba culture. Her goal was to create a piece that encompassed Cave’s vision for the collaboration.
“It could be a ritual,ceremony or protests,” Lang says. “It is about understanding space and how it is used for protest and understadning where we are in American society.”
The dancers were dressed in colorful soundsuits created by Cave. The space was activated by the sound of native drums to which the dancers moved through the crowd interacting with onlookers. The display of power and manhood through tribal steps was further emphasized by the silent, but intriguing dressing ceremony on stage. Each initiate was dressed by assistants or guides to prepare them for a sacred transition. The care and reverence put into the dressing ceremony resembled a native intiation into manhood or crossing over into another realm. Slowly each member was taken away from the human existence and the audience witnessed an immortal transformation.
“It’s about the intitate and who they really are and being called to take on your destiny,” Lang says. “You see them leaving behind all their human layers and being dressed in their souls. It’s a ritual, a ceremony or a call to become your true self.”