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Dutch National Opera and Dutch National Ballet Present HOW ANANSI FREED THE STORIES

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The production brings together different cultures, sounds and movement styles, whilst inviting everyone in society to share stories with one another.

Dutch National Opera and Dutch National Ballet Present HOW ANANSI FREED THE STORIES

Dutch National Opera and Dutch National Ballet are combining forces to present the world premiere How Anansi Freed the Stories of the World.

Renowned opera soloists, musicians from various genres, ballet dancers from Dutch National Ballet's Junior Company and dancers from the hiphop scene tell a story about the mythical spider Anansi. The production brings together different cultures, sounds and movement styles, whilst inviting everyone in society to share stories with one another.

The music for Anansi was written by the South African composer Neo Muyanga, the production is directed by Kenza Koutchoukali and the dance is choreographed by Shailesh Bahoran. Maarten van Hinte wrote the libretto and Dieuweke van Reij designed the sets and costumes.

How Anansi Freed the Stories of the World will premiere on Saturday 13 November and will be performed until 21 November 2021, in Dutch National Opera & Ballet, in Amsterdam.

How Anansi Freed the Stories of the World is the first in a series of new productions to be presented jointly by Dutch National Opera and Dutch National Ballet in the coming years. In this family performance, the inventive spider, who outsmarts everyone and always comes away unscathed, frees the captive stories of the world from the claws of the cunning tiger Tigri. The young tenor Zwakele Tshabalala sings the title role, who takes on Tigri, sung by the bass Agris Hartmanis. They are joined on stage by Claron McFadden, Katia Ledoux and Martin Mkhize.

This new music theatre production has been created by a multifaceted team of artists. The colourful score by the South African composer Neo Muyanga transports you in a musical story that combines Western music styles with Afro-Caribbean influences and West African percussion. After directing Goud! for DNO, Kenza Koutchoukali is making her debut with a production for the big stage.

Choreographer Shailesh Bahoran has performed as a dancer in a production by Dutch National Ballet, Swan Lake Bijlmermeer II, after which he developed as a promising hiphop choreographer with dance collective ISH and received the Dutch Dance Festival Award in 2017. Anansi is his first choreographic work for Dutch National Ballet. The classically trained dancers of the Junior Company join dancers from the hiphop scene in interpreting Bahoran's choreography for this production.

The libretto of How Anansi Freed the Stories of the World was written by Maarten van Hinte and the colourful sets and costumes were designed by Dieuweke van Reij.

The many stories featuring the mythical spider Anansi are known as the Anansi-toris. The tales originated in Ghana, but they also appear in various forms in the rest of West Africa, and they were brought to Suriname and the Caribbean by enslaved people in the African diaspora. Each narration is unique, as each narrator tells an Anansi-tori in their own way.

Performances in Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Amsterdam
Sat 13 (premiere), Sat 20, Sun 21* November
Curtain-up: 19.00/ * 13.30 and 19.00


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