Pulse of Mali

A nightly dance performance with puppets at the Gold Resturant

Pulse of Mali is an eclectic African performance. Based on and inspired by the traditions of Malian performance, it draws influence with its performers from across africa. In 2004 the Gold of Africa Museum hosted an exhibition of Malian puppets, Patrimony made by master puppeteer Yaya Coulibaly. This exhibition planted the seeds for the current performance. Influenced by the non-narrative, symbolic performance style of the Bamana people, Pulse of Mali works with the the traditions of Bamana performance in a contemporary South African context.  

In the animistic Bamana tradition, puppets and masks are intermediaries between the human and spirit world. Performance is an expression and celebration of the interconnectedness of man and nature, the innate balance of human and spirit forces. Puppets are also jesters and entertainers, used in ceremonies celebrating the passing of seasons and coming of age.  
Pulse of Mali works with the spirit of this performance style. As people gather to celebrate life and community in the Gold Restaurant, the performance celebrates the energy of Africa. Coreographed by and with South African dancers and singers performance blends Congolese, Xhosa and contemporary dance rhythms. 

Puppetry Designed and Directed by Janni Younge