Lake Chad is one of the oldest freshwater lakes in the Sahara and provides water and food to the countries of Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon. It offers humans and wildlife a natural sanctuary and is regarded as a deeply spiritual site for the ethnic groups and cultures living around it. Today the lake and its neighbouring inhabitants are threatened by a shrinking water supply, changing rain and drought seasons, progressive desertification, and increasing instability and militarisation in the region. The lake has meanwhile come to symbolise the interconnection of climate change, exodus and migration.
The dance piece “The Drying Prayer” by the Chadian choreographer Taigué Ahmed, which he developed together with the Montreal-based musician DJ Caleb Rimbtobaye/Afrotronix and five African dancers, draws attention to the most recent transformations of the habitats and social structures on Lake Chad. It is a work of danced cartography and an opportunity to take inventory of the current situation, combining traditional and contemporary dance styles, such as hip-hop and Coupé-Décale. The music by Caleb Rimbtobaye/Afrotronix integrates electronic music and chants with the rhythms and songs of the region. The result is an Afrofuturistic sound, an audible vision of the future for Lake Chad. Ahmed and Rimbtobaye believe that art is a means of communication and a motor for change. For this reason, the performances will be accompanied by discussions, lectures and workshops on the significance and effects of climate change.
Choreographer, artistic director: Taigué Ahmed
Dancers: Baidy Ba, Aimé Djedonang, Hervé Dakanga, Julie Iariosa, Aly Karembé
Music: Caleb Rimbtobaye/Afrotronix
Costume and set design: Veronika Utta Schneider
Dramaturgy: Sarah Israel
Light design: Wolfgang Eibert
Premiere and two subsequent performances, Theater HochX, Munich: October/November 2020; two additional performances: Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, Weimar: October/November 2020; an additional performance Deutsches Theater Göttingen, Göttingen: October/November 2020; an additional performance Institut Français des Tschad, N’Djamena: December 2020
In cooperation with the theatre HochX and Live Art, the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar (DNT), the Deutsches Theater Göttingen and the Institut Français des Tschad. In collaboration with the Centre National de la Danse (Paris).