Michael 'Mikey J' Asante
Black Sun is a work that draws energy from the sun and the moon, giving rise to descendants of ancestors. We live to tell stories not forgetting we live to be ancestors. The sun and moon only meet to blacken, allowing us to draw from their powers as we prepare for life after life.
We are all linked to the life forces of those that walked before us, those that paved the way to where we find ourselves walking from today. In this work we explore the spiritual influence of our ancestors that push, pull, and often guide our own journeys. From an ever-changing palette of intergenerational experience, we navigate our lives surrounded by the influence of the past, the present and in turn the effect of those influences on others. Black Sun acknowledges that the whispers of the past and beating of the present merge to inform the story that is our own.
The men’s trio explores the additional influence of the merging of cultures and the challenges of navigating the intersection of ancestral passage. The sense of ritual, of rites of passage and what those effects those have on our lives. Empowering and tormenting they influence our spirit in different ways and at different times as we are pulled between the then and the now.
At times life forces impede our flow, we become challenged to resist the beating drums that try to impede the nascent interactions with those around us. Ultimately, we must recognise the whispers and find our own grounding on this earthen path we travel.
The word ‘Abangoma’ or ‘The Healers ‘, sung during the group drumming conveys that we can embrace the differences, heal the torment, and pick one another up allowing us to ebb and flow as individuals but move forward together sharing a sense of community.
This work has asked that the cast dig deep, to be willing and submissive to supernatural powers. The dancers’ willingness to go further, to be open to the possibilities of going home, back to the source, has enriched this work and hopefully the audience and those we encounter on this journey can be transported with us as we discover. The music by Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante allows the ear to hear beyond the notes, to feel the pulse of the heartbeat.
Being with Ballet Black in the creation of this took me home, and I know now that home is where I am most free.