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Experience African modern dance with Face 2 Face + ticket giveaway

By Alejandro Bustos on February 2, 2015

In anticipation of the Face 2 Face series that starts this week, we are giving away one pair of tickets for Faustin Linyekula’s performance on Wednesday, and another pair of tickets for Qudus Onikeku show on Friday.  To enter this contest email apartment613@gmail with the subject line “Face 2 Face Contest” by noon Tuesday, February 3.  The two winners will be picked shortly thereafter and notified on Wednesday afternoon.

For the third straight year, the Face 2 Face series is bringing to Ottawa some of the world’s best dance talent.

The 2015 edition is particularly intriguing, as it showcases some of Africa’s leading contemporary dance performers.  The series starts this Wednesday and runs until Saturday.

“(Audiences) can hear from and explore artists that we normally don’t see in Canada,” says Cathy Levy, executive producer of dance at the NAC, in an interview with Apartment613.  “Each of these artists come from a wide variety of backgrounds … (and they are all) going to present to us a different way of looking at contemporary dance.”

Split between the National Arts Centre Studio, Arts Court Theatre and the ODD Box at Arts Court, this series offers the public an opportunity to see four different world-class performers in an intimate setting.

Faustin Linyekula from the Congo starts things off on Wednesday with a work that examines, through a personal lens, the violence that is spreading havoc in his native land.

“Faustin is a gorgeous performer,” says Levy while praising his show.

Bienvenue Bazié from Burkina Faso, meanwhile, is the only artist who will not be performing a strictly solo show.  While he will present a short solo piece, he will also be dancing a duet with Canadian-artist Jennifer Dallas that explores a cross-cultural mix of African and Canadian influences.

For his part, South African Vincent Mantsoe combines martial arts, Western street styles and traditional African dance in his work.

“There is a lot of interest in Ottawa for Vincent because his (previous) shows have been very popular,” says Levy.  While Mantsoe has performed in our city before, the other three dancers will be new to audiences in our region.

Finally, Qudus Onikeku from Nigeria offers an intriguing dose of acrobatic skill in his award-winning solo YK Projects.

Face 2 Face runs from February 4-7.  Shows will take place at the NAC Studio, Arts Court Theatre and the ODD Box at Arts Court.  Check series schedule for venues and times.  Tickets start at $20 per show, except for the performance by Vincent Mantsoe that begins at $31.