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Mami Wata
AFROVIBES: Merlin Nyakam

Thu 6 Oct '22 , 20:00
Studio 1

Mami Watta is a long-haired female deity who can be benevolent but also cruel. Like the Biblical Eve or the Minoan Artemis, Mami Watta is associated with the serpent that inspires us with its enchanting dance. It is found in countless cultures, in Cameroon the dance of Mami Watta is called the 'Assiko'. In Mami Watta, Merlin Nyakam composes an androgynous, sensual and burlesque character. In a mixture of Caribbean, Polynesian and Eastern gypsy dances, he questions the image of masculinity. For example, Merlin Nyakam wears a male lion's head but is also a female Amazon warrior. He makes the spectators sing along and leads us through an age-old ritual that takes the understanding of being a man and being a woman to a higher level, to being human, without compromising the appearance of men and women.

With Mami Watta, Merlin Nyakam follows in the footsteps of Catherine Dunham, an American ethnologist and choreographer who borrowed from Caribbean culture the 'snake dance': the movements of the pelvis and hips that have become the essence of jazz dance. From Elvis to Shakira, this energetic dance has spread all over the world.


Choreography: Merlin Nyakam

Dance: Merlin Nyakam

Live music: to be announced



Duration: 30 min

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