by Paula Citron.
COBA, Collective of Black Artists
Choreographed by BaKari E. Lindsay, Vincent Sekwati Koko Mantsoe and Sis
Premiere Dance Theatre
COBA, one of Toronto’s top black dance ensembles, celebrated its 15th season
with a show called Yebo! which means “yes” in Zulu. COBA’s mandate is to
present authentic dances rooted in the Afro-Caribbean heritage and the
Ritual dance was represented in co-artistic director BaKari E. Lindsay’s
1995 Orisha Suite which explored the fusion of Christianity and the Yoruba
gods. Sis Robin Hibbert’s premiere DounDoun Dance was built around the ku-ku
rhythm played by women of the forest region of Guinea. The live singing and
drumming crackled with excitement.
The reprise of South African Vincent Mantsoe’s 2005 Bodika/Sessions was very
welcome. The contemporary work takes as its departure the rights of passage
to portray a quartet of dancers who spiritually connect with each other.
Lindsay’s new trio Cross Currents began with traditional African music that
segued into jazz in a constant flow of movement.
At this point, the company is looking very sleek and deserves to be seen
across the country.