(Mon Village)

an evening with le groupe Bassan

November 7-19, 1995

Me-Klô (My Village): Expérience Bassan!

Two week run: November 7 to 19, 1995
Tuesday to Sunday, doors open 7:30, show at 8, dinner at 9

The hit of Artword's Festival of the Human Voice, back for a two-week run. Bassan, a group of four dynamic performers from Africa's Ivory Coast (Yolande Séry, Justine Gogoa, Emmanuel Douho, Jean-Paul Ako Béché) presents a festival of theatre, singing, drumming, for the family.
Performed in French, Ivory Coast dialect, and some English (with mime that is easy to understand!). Plus an exhibition of African crafts and a traditional African village dinner, all prepared by Bassan!
The evening has in three parts:
1) a theatre performance,
2) a traditional African village dinner,
3) an exhibition of African clothing and crafts -- all prepared by Bassan.

The theatre component includes: Tidéco (the Termite House), les Siamois (The Twins), et Souffle de la terre (The Earth's Breath).
Bassan's theatre is a stunning mix of mime, clown, four-part harmony singing, drumming, and dancing. Drawing on the traditions of their Ivory Coast culture, the group taps into the essence of theatre as an exciting and universal communication.
Bassan performs in French and Ivory Coast dialect, with a little English, but their vigorous and captivating shows can be understood by everyone.
Bassan appeared in Artword's Festival of the Human Voice in May, thrilling audiences and selling out. They also appeared at Tarragon Theatre's weekend theatre festival last spring. Artword Theatre is delighted to provide a wider opportunity for Bassan to show what they can do.

Background on the group Bassan:
The word "Bassan'' means "broom" in the Ivory Coast dialect. It is a symbol of unity, a whole made out of many strands.
The four performers, two women (Dapéa Sery Yolande and Djoléi Gogoua) and two men (Béché Ako and Gnéon Douho), deliver a high-energy performance of songs, dance, drumming and theatrical storytelling. The songs and stories are their own composition. They draw on the traditions of Ivory Coast culture to create a universal art form.
Founded in 1987, Bassan has performed in Africa, England, Europe and North America at numerous music, theatre, and puppetry festivals. The group Bassan is now based in Toronto.
The four members of Bassan began their careers as entertainers in Abidjan, the capital city of the Ivory Coast. Then they emigrated to Europe and performed widely though Europe and on several tours to North America. They were also members of Ki-Yi, a pan-African group of performers that toured internationally.