Nov 24 2009

Music Mightier than the Rapier

Published by Sai Ma under Uncategorized

An interesting point that Ben Brantley brought up was the fact that he was surprised at how the audience members weren’t in such a groove after the show. It was quite obvious to me that the show was all the rage and everyone was talking about it afterwards. Although Brantley’s comment on how people should have left the show swinging their hips was an exaggeration, the powerful aura of the Shrine and the theater itself was enough to give people a subconscious urge to rotate their “clocks”. Ben Brantley’s review touched upon a lot of the aspects that we covered in class: the political activism of Fela Kuti, the height of his career in Nigera when he was all the rage and of course, his powerful, aggressive demeanor both on and off the stage. FELA! was also a means of revival, according to Ben Brantley. Much of Broadway has focused on the theme of revival of classical works such as West Side Story and FELA! was no exception. Bill T. Jones was determined to capture the essence of the production as it was in the 1970s and that style is still relevant in today’s theater. Although he had the help of some elaborate collaborators such as Shawn Carter, Bill T. Jones drew and conceived FELA! as an original and authentic piece of work. If we didn’t know that we were living in NY, we would’ve left the show thinking that we were taking a trip in a time machine back into Fela Kuti’s prime.

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