Documentary film by UF professor screens at international film festivals

Published: June 20 2007

Category:Announcements, Top Stories

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Dominant media images of Africa commonly project a vast, undifferentiated land steeped in tradition and ensnared in a web of poverty, disease and political turmoil.

Indeed when personal and humanizing attention is given to Africa it often hinges on the goodwill trips of international celebrities. Now Movement (R)evolution Africa, a new documentary film directed by University of Florida professor Joan Frosch, has set about to tell new stories — the stories of individual lives and creativity on the African continent.

This summer, the film opens an international film festival in Amsterdam and tours the United States and Europe.

Movement (R)evolution Africa details Africa’s fiercely creative choreographic trendsetters. Hailing from Senegal to South Africa, these dancers provide fresh images of Africa and perspectives of the creative processes to bring to life the continent’s contemporary identity.

Combining innovative narrative techniques and striking footage of dancers at work in the studio and on stage, Movement (R)evolution Africa explores an astonishing exposition of choreographic fomentation.

Frosch, a professor in the College of Fine Arts School of Theatre and Dance, said the featured choreographers reveal emotionally complex expressions of self, and by doing so, reveal the reality that is Africa today.

The sum of these artists’ stories creates a deeply human encounter with creativity that positions African choreographic innovation as a veritable aesthetic revolution. Their stunning choreography and riveting stories challenge stale stereotypes of “traditional Africa” to unveil soul-shaking responses to the beauty and tragedy of 21st century Africa.

Faustin Linyekula, exiled survivor of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eight-year war, muses whether his body is his only “true country.” Germaine Acogny, considered to be the mother of Senegalese contemporary dance, exorcises the assassin in herself as she creates a work on the Rwandan genocide.

Through her choreography, Ivorian Béatrice Kombé explores love and union in the context of life in a country that has abused the trust of so many of it citizens. Nora Chipaumire excavates her painful Zimbabwean past in the context of a jarring American present. Sello Pesa explores traditions as abstractions, while Madagascar’s Ariry Andriamoratsiresy offers new ways to think about the meaning of “African” in “African dance.”

The Burkinabe choreographers and directors of Kongo Ba Téria, Lacina Coulibaly and Souleyman Badolo, crystallize a riveting response to desertification. While choreographers Rosy Timas and Elisabete Fernandes render comic slices of urban and rural life in Cape Verde as they question the staging of female sensuality. Renowned African-American choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar engages the viewer in empathy-filled firsthand interactions with the featured African choreographers.

The film has been the festival pick of the year, screening at more than 20 festivals throughout the United States and Europe, and is to be featured at Kaay Fecc in Dakar, Senegal. Movement (R)evolution Africa has received rave reviews, including The Village Voice proclamation: “this film is a knockout.”

For more information visit the Web at


Denise Trunk Krigbaum,, 352-392-0207
Joan Frosch,, 352-514-1100

Category:Announcements, Top Stories