Enowate ★★★ Sadler’s Wells Theatre | October 14 & 15, 2022


Apparently Dickson Mbi's Enowate, which mean ‘truth stands’ was inspired by his "life-changing journey to his ancestral home in Cameroon where he reconnected with his animistic spiritual practice." This might not be readily apparent to the viewer, but the solo performance is definitely an intriguing piece which allows the audience's imagination to engage with the dancer and the work he has created. Mbi's performance has elements of mime, modern dance and hip-hop. At the beginning he employs movements resembling a controlled stumbling and crawling, plus rather traditional mime elements. He then transforms himself into organic shapes that made us consider the origin of life on this planet and the development of being into forms. The score by Roger Goula moved from almost threatening to an ethereal quality which successfully matched the amazing animation of Yeast Culture. Their visual design work was quite extraordinary and absolutely integral to the creation of the Enowate experience. Indeed, throughout the performance the lighting is critical to the atmosphere which the movement strives to create. The final sequence, that for us evoked both the primordial soup and the stars, is truly a visual inspiration. At the conclusion of the evening, Mbi's radiating light can be seen to represent truth standing.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo Ⓒ NickThornton Jones & Warren DuPreez

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