Skip to content

Choreographers Germaine Acogny & Malou Airaudo in conversation with Vershawn Sanders-Ward


About the Program

Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear from “the mother of contemporary African dance,” Germaine Acogny, and Pina Bausch lead dancer Malou Airaudo! The two will be featured in an upcoming performance of epic proportions at Harris Theater, and they will be discussing this internationally-collaborative, historically-significant re-mounting of Pina Bausch’s choreography for Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring on a powerful double bill with Acogny and Airaudo’s common ground[s].

Chicago-based Red Clay Dance Artistic Director and CEO Vershawn Sanders-Ward (herself a graduate of École des Sables under Acogny’s tutelage) sits down with Acogny and Airaudo to discuss the many layers of exchange across dance vocabularies, countries, and eras.

The idea of “exchange” is central to the groundbreaking two-part program coming to the Harris Theater this month. It marks the first collaboration between the Pina Bausch Foundation (Germany), École des Sables (Senegal), and Sadler’s Wells (UK). Bausch’s The Rite of Spring (1975) is danced by a newly assembled company of dancers from African countries. common ground[s] is a new work created, performed, and inspired by the lives of two remarkable women: Germaine Acogny, “the mother of contemporary African dance” and founder of École des Sables, and Malou Airaudo who has performed leading roles in many of Bausch’s early works.