Review: Zinzi Minott - ‘What Kind of Slave Would I be?’ - Rich Mix

Performance: 22 April 2017
Reviewed by Asterope Tia Chatzinikola - Monday 24 April 2017

Photo credit: https://www.richmix.org.uk/blog/rich-mix-access-all-areas-zinzi-minott

Performance reviewed: 22nd April

Zinzi Minott wonders ‘What Kind of Slave Would I be?’ and captures my attention with her new solo work. Coupling dance and politics, Minott deeps into colonialism and unveils hidden – or forgotten – parts and emotions of the Black British Identity.

Rich Mix’s stage is transformed into an exotic back-yard which perimetrically is full of plants, mirrors and a centred chair made of bamboo. In the dark, Minott enters her kingdom confidently, totally dressed in black except for her white nails and…eyes! She has bright-white googly eyes and stares us in a frozen, glassy way. The back-yard scenery is accompanied by a grey-dotted upstage screen which works as a parallel set throughout the piece.

In a tireless and euphoric sound given by Nkisi, Minott commences her ‘Slave Dance’. Isolations of her extremities lead her sharp gestured motion which is constantly interrupted and remains incomplete. She gives her own endless battle with memories, she roars silently like a lion recently captured. Sensitive and powerful, Minott stretches her long arms only to retrieve them again. She is in the middle of a chaotic and threatening universe and she goes beyond the point of exhaustion looking for her freedom. The urge to find the sense of liberty is a fundamental human instinct, and Minott proves herself to be a cosmic existence.

The strong narrative is enriched by a creative video footage and Rohan Ayinde’s photography setting, contributing elements to the crescendo of the plot. A white surface is painted black on the screen, while Minott forms a labyrinth with her manoeuvres expressing anger and oppression.

‘What Kind of Slave Would I be?’ pictures how traumatic and indelible experience slavery is, regardless of its kind. Thanks to her twin talents of daring and opposing fear, Minott takes us on a journey to the past. However, the chopped bits of action were distracting and the high voltage lighting interrupted my thoughts.

Saturday 22nd April 2017
Rich Mix Centre
35-47 Bethnal Green Road
London
E1 6LA
Website: www.richmix.org.uk

Asterope Tia Chatzinikola, is a professional dancer with a Literature degree. She studied at Central Saint Martins (MA Arts & Culture Enterprise) and she is a reviewer for Londondance.com and Dance Writer.


ZINZI MINOTT:

I identify very strongly as a dancer, not just because of what I do, but because more recently I’ve started to understand and articulate that that’s how I see the world. It’s how I gobble the world up and put the world back out. Some of us interpret and put the world out in different ways. Some people write, some people paint, and for me it’s dance. So even if I’m writing or painting, it’s usually as a way to facilitate me dancing. Also, it’s important to me because it’s not about speaking – I don’t think anyone would describe me as quiet, but I actually get quite exhausted by speaking, and I’d just rather dance all the time.

Please click here to read the full interview

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