sealPurdue News

January 9, 2003

African dancers bring provocative work to Loeb Playhouse

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. Salia n Seydou, an acclaimed dance ensemble from Burkina Faso in West Africa, will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, in Loeb Playhouse.

Admission is $22 for general public, and $17 for Purdue students and children K-12. Tickets can be purchased at Purdue box offices or charged by phone at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets. Salia n Seydou is presented by Purdue Convocations.

Burkina Faso-based choreographer/dancers Salia Sanou and Seydou Boro will, along with one other dancer and two onstage musicians, perform their hourlong, demanding work entitled "Figninto."

"Figninto" roughly translates to "blind man," spiritually more than physically. The work is a mystical and provocative blend of African ritual and modern dance.

"Figninto" had its North American premiere at Montreal's Festival International de Nouvelle Danse in 1999 and received the Audience Award for Best Production.

The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "Interpretations may vary widely about what unfolds in "Figninto," the powerful, strangely beautiful dance theatre piece, but the alternately stark, sensual, playful and mysterious quality of the piece was undeniable."

"The power and control of these men is awesome they move with elegance and catlike grace and speed, every muscle isolated and defined," wrote The Columbus Dispatch, "The work they offered, however, is substantial, multilayered and intricately constructed, with an elemental, yet sophisticated connection to the live music."

The performance is accompanied by an onstage performer playing the "musical arch," an unusual and ancient instrument that sounds like a mutation involving a guitar and a mouth harp, but looks like neither.

"It is a dialogue between the music and the dance," Boro said in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman about the work. "It's a synthesis to provoke emotion and images a blend."

Sanou agrees, "It is thematic rather than a storytelling. The physicality of the piece evokes images that are universal."

CONTACT: Larry Sommers, Purdue Convocations, (765) 494-5045,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of Salia n Seydou is available at

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page