Dance: Southern Bound Comfort

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Dancers Shanell Winlock and Gregory Maqoma will perform "Southern Bound Comfort," a duo of works by Maqoma and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, this week at the Wexner Center.

Set in a dance rehearsal, Maqoma's "Southern Comfort" explores gender politics and control issues as Winlock bosses around Maqoma, a trio of musicians and the lighting director in ways sometimes humorous and sometimes threatening.

In Cherkaoui's "Bound," Winlock and Maqoma share the stage with a prop fraught with both positive and negative associations: rope. "Bound" traces a relationship from beginning to end.

The dancers mold rope into the shape of houses, trees, a baby, a noose. The rope's bind is used to strengthen or to shackle, and the rope serves as a tool of play and of violence.

Live musical accompaniment draws on traditions from South Asia and Europe, featuring cellist Stefan Knapik, percussionist Manjunath B. Chandramouli and Soumik Datta on sarod, an Indic lute.

The dancers and choreographer are bound by their personal history. The three first met at Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's Performing Arts Research and Training Studios in Brussels.

Winlock and Maqoma, who are South African, performed together in the Akram Khan Dance Company as well as Maqoma's own Vuyani Dance Theatre Project. Cherkaoui is one of the artistic minds behind Belgium's Les Ballets C de la B.

Maqoma initially choreographed "Southern Comfort" a decade ago, when South Africa's still-young democracy struggled with power sharing, and he resurrected the work in 2008.

This double bill promises a feast for eyes and ears.

Southern Bound Comfort

Through April 2

Wexner Center

1871 N. High St., Campus