The Head and the Load Is a Kaleidoscopic Tour of Africa’s Colonial History

All these forms harmonize, in the sense that they produce something coherently beautiful. But they are also explicitly in conflict. A white actress puts on a helmet crowned with an eagle and snarls a German cabaret song, while the black performers who sing back at her are resisting harmonically. It’s a straightforward articulation of political conflict through music.

Stella Olivier

Like Kentridge’s Refuse the Hour production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2015, the performances take place against a backdrop of dynamic projections. White explosions made with an eraser burst across a landscape drawn in charcoal. A dancer’s animated shadow follows him as he races across a battlefield, then falls when he does. Performers carry “drawings” that turn into moving shadow puppets.


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