Images courtesy of Eric Otieno

‘Mirrors’ – A cross-continental dance dialogue

Looking in a mirror (an object or a person) means recognizing yourself in an image that goes beyond your body, but that is your body at the same time. It’s an image that speaks and listens, that seems to move away to then come back, that seeks and finds its own space in a continuous dialogue that oscillates between chaos and stillness in search of balance

Johanne Affricot, creator and artistic director of Mirrors

Dance, music and film combine translating into a conversation that links Italy and Africa as a means of celebrating the meeting of lineage, cultures and identities. Birth – Discovery – Origin – Contamination, are the tenets of the performance. These cycles make allowance for visual and musical landscapes that are heterogeneous in nature. Each young performer’s exceptional input leads the viewer through a narrative centring around varying identities within a disoriented state as the performers find their inner aspirations and a feeling of belongingness.

Taking on the spirit of Mirrors as a second skin are Afro-Italian ballet dancer of Brazilian origin, Roberto Lazzari, Italian- Nigerian dancer and afro-caribbean dance specialist Ofelya Omoyele Balogun, Italian-Tunisian dancer and electro-dance, hip-hop and bone-breaking specialist Andrea Bouothmane, and the Italian choreographer and performer Irene Russolillo. The performance will take on a magnified dimension with the inclusion of ten added performers on stage at each set.

The London situated, Italian-Ivorian producer EHUA made the original soundtrack for the performance that makes reference to both African and Italian music traditions. The sonic ensemble intensifies and unifies slices of traditions, cultures and concepts from Africa and Italy. These sounds range from the Sicilian mouth harp and ancestral songs of Salento folklore which makes use of guttural sounds as well as vocal noises that are reminiscent of percussive elements. Included in the combination are talking drums, djembes and Gqom sounds. Luca Brinchi’s video installation views the human as the epicentre echoing in various manifestations as a means of magnifying and uplifting the aesthetics of the dramaturgy and choreographic work.

The show, held in Italian, is subtitled in Amharic, Wolof, Zulu, English and French. Culminating in a documentary that will be shot in Attoh the film will be premiered in Italy in Autumn 2019.

Watch the teasers now on Facebook and Instagram.

Tour dates: 

28th May (7 pm) – Italian Cultural Institute of Addis Ababa

2nd June (4 pm) – University of Johannesburg Arts & Culture Theatre

8th June (8 pm) – Theatre National Daniel Sorano


Mirrors is created and produced by GRIOTmag and the cultural association LIT in partnership with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Cooperation and the Italian Cultural Institutes of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Pretoria (South Africa) and Dakar (Senegal) for the 2019 “Italia, Culture, Africa” (Italy, Cultures, Africa) programme promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Concept & Artistic Direction: Johanne Affricot

Choreography: Irene Russolillo

Performance: Irene Russolillo, Roberto Lazzari, Ofelia Omoyele Balogun, Andrea Bouothmane

Video art: Luca Brinchi

Music: EHUA

Light Design: Daniele Davino

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