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Sunday, November 08, 2009


It doesn't get much better than last night at the House of World Cultures. On this special weekend commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

An Evening With Shailja Patel was scheduled to start at 7.30pm. At 7.20pm, Katja, the tech director, came into the dressing room to tell me that all the seats were filled, people were still streaming in, and we were going to delay the start while they put out more chairs.

When we finally began, people were standing, and sitting on the stairs.

The show rocked. I busted out moves I didn't know I had. I took risks I haven't taken before - deliberately inserted windows for improvisation. And they flew. I was in the work, yet dancing with all the elements - light, sound, script, image, space, props - at a whole new level of mastery.

A compliment I'm still inhaling, like an opening yellow rose, from a German audience member who couldn't even follow the denser, more poetic text in English:

Even though I couldn't understand some parts, it was so vivid, the performance so absorbing, it felt like a minute instead of an hour. When you finished, I thought - it can't be over!

Applause that didn't quit. I lost count of bows.

Best of all, I raised 140 euros auctioning off my last three chapbooks, to go towards bail money for Kamotho, arrested in Nairobi for activism 3 days ago.

Thank you wonderful people at AfricAvenir and House of World Cultures. Thank you, Berliners.


Blogger Olin1984 said...

Wonderful! i can't wait to see you on stage again reach through those "improvisational windows"!

If you happen to be near Los Angeles...

11/27/2009 10:20 PM  

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