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SO AVA by Smaïl Kanouté / Compagnie vivons

Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) 2022 is pleased to present



by Smaïl Kanouté / Compagnie vivons

Country: France, Mali | Running Time: 15 | Language: French  | Year Of Inception: 2021

About SO AVA – Smaïl Kanouté

SO AVA, filmed in Benin, has Kanouté return to his African roots by retracing the path of the slaves who, through their forced exile, spread their beliefs and voodoo rituals across the world. His majesty Zola Toyigbé of the lakeside So Ava kingdom offers Kanouté the keys to discover his world. If it was the pursuit of balance that pushed Kanouté to leave for Benin, in this former slave port it is the desire to find voodoo and meet the Lac Noukoue community (at the mouth of the river of death) that draws him through the door of no return. Smail has long been intrigued by the invisible, deeply convinced that when we dance, we never dance alone. We are all connected to our ancestors. Eager to discover, share and develop resilience, Smail immersed himself for a week in this enigmatic and mysterious community to learn its dances and voodoo philosophy. He moves through energy to purge the often-painful stories—both small and large—of the African diaspora. The encounters, visions and feelings he undergoes are then written into a choreography that tells of a rite of passage in the country of voodoo. “To be well with” is the principal message of this philosophy. Dance is key to communicating with divinities represented by the four elements of nature—water, fire, earth and air.

Never Twenty One, Yasuke Kurosan and SO AVA can be presented together as a triptych; they are part of a series of short films by Kanouté that deals more broadly with the impact of colonialism and the persistence of ancestral rites as an affirmation of identity.

Production: Compagnie VivonsCo-production: MacLYON (the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, France) • Les Ateliers Médicis (Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil, France)

Partners : His majesty Zola Toyigbé of the lakeside So Ava kingdom • Karine Dellière

Thanks to Villa Albertine in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States

About Smaïl Kanouté / Compagnie vivons

Born in 1986, Smaïl Kanouté is a French-Malian graphic designer, dancer, silkscreen artist, and graduate of ENSAD. He lives and works in Paris. Among many projects, he has worked in fashion with the designer Xuly Bet and performed with Raphaelle Delauney, Radhouane El Meddeb and others. Kanoute created his own company Vivons, and he has since created several performance pieces including Les Actes du Désert. In visual arts, he has frequently collaborated with the street and visual artist Philippe Baudelocque, and for Tino Sehgal’s major exhibition ‘These Associations’ at the Palais de Tokyo in 2016.

About The Festival

The Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) is an annual event showcasing films drawn from the world of theatre and performance. The festival presents experimental, emerging, and established theatre artists and filmmakers from around the world to audiences and industry professionals. The 7th annual festival will focus on work for the screen created by theatre artists during the Time of Corona. The festival will be held digitally from March 1st – 15th 2022.

Explore projects created under SO AVA from March 1st to March 15th 2022 on the Segal Center Film Festival on Theatre and Performance (FTP) website.

Support this project by Smaïl Kanouté / Compagnie vivons by making a direct donation to them at the following details:

Read more about Smaïl Kanouté / Compagnie vivons and SO AVA at (http://www.smailkanoute.com/) or get in touch at compagnievivons@gmail.com / Instagram @smail_kanoute

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