Chombotrope

The Jitta Collective

“… a fashion concert […], which irrupts the audience like a natural force.” Westdeutsche Zeitung

“What starts as a parody of a fashion show, where the upcycling couture of Ugandan fashion designer Xenson (aka Samson Ssenkaaba) is presented, soon afterwards mutates into a breathless dance performance, drifted by drummer Dodo NKishi, to flirt with spoken word passages, to rap and soul concert, and finally to a fanatical appeal to the African art of the present, to condemn the exploitation of its own culture.” choices

The Jitta Collective
Stephanie Thiersch & Kefa Oiro

The African-European Collective is making an attempt at rethinking the legacy of cultural appropriation: through the pointed and personal practice of ‘making it your own’ and self-empowerment. Together we are celebrating the mash-up idea and taking it to the extreme: Beatboxing and spoken word, drums and turntables, fashion, contemporary dance and voguing unite to create a mix of futuristic identities that are echoed in a fashion concert. With African symbols or patterns having long since established themselves in the “Western” fashion world, we propose a playfully subversive change of perspective. Tradition and stolen cultural goods are intertwined, distorted, bundled, and geared towards the future. New narratives emerge: threateningly and confusingly originlessly, they combine animism with science fiction, the spiritual with technology. A fashion wormhole between two continents unfurls and the JITTA Collective fills it: loud and uncopyrighted – guaranteed.

About the Collective: Choreographer Stephanie Thiersch is working on an unusual choreography together with her Kenyan colleague Kefa Orio, dancer Alexandra Naudet and voguer Marie Zoe. Composer and exceptional drummer Dodo NKishi, who drums with the band Mouse on Mars among others, turntable virtuoso DJ Elephant Power from Brussels and percussionist N’deye Seck from Senegal will be collaborating for the first time ever and providing the live soundtrack. Combined with the texts of the spoken word activist and Ugandan fashion designer Xenson, whose costumes play a pivot role in this fashion/voguing/electro/beat spectacle, they fearlessly will be crossing the frontiers of sound and mixing and blending each other’s material.

CAST

Project-initiation & idea: Kefa Oiro, Stephanie Thiersch
Concept: The Jitta Collective

Artists:
Dj Elephant Power (alias Nicolas Baudoux) – music composition, turntablism, Belgium
Marie Zoe – voguing, singing, choreography, Germany
Alexandra Naudet – dance, performance, choreography, France
Dodo NKishi – music composition, drums, beatboxing/singing, Germany
Kefa Oiro – dance, choreography, concept, Kenya
N’deye Seck – music composition, drums, Senegal
Stephanie Thiersch – direction, choreography, text, Germany
Xenson (alias Ssamson Ssenkaaba) – art, fashiondesign, poetry, Uganda
Musical support: Checkmate Mido alias Mido Dembebe, Kenya and Judith Namacheke Bwire, Kenya
Voguing Support: House of Melody (Berlin/Düsseldorf), artzone dancers (Nairobi)
Dramaturgy/Scientific Support: Alexandra Karentzos Mode & Ästhetik, Technische Universität Darmstadt

CREDITS

Production MOUVOIR e.V. Germany & Tuchangamke Group, Kenya.
In coproduction with Akademie der Künste der Welt / Köln in the frame of PLURIVERSALE VII, tanzhaus nrw, Nairobi Festival of Performance and Media Arts – NFPMA and Goethe Institut – Internationaler Koproduktionsfonds.
Cooperation partner freihandelszone – Ensemblenetzwerk Köln, GoDownArtsCenter, Nairobi.
Funded by: Kunststiftung NRW, NATIONALES PERFORMANCE NETZ (NPN) Koproduktionsförderung Tanz aus Mitteln der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien, Ministerium für Kultur und Wissenschaft des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Kulturamt der Stadt Köln.