Les Anti-Miserables

Don’t let the name mislead you; Les Ballets Africains don’t perform plies or wear tutus. Rather, they blend dance, acrobatics, storytelling, and comedy – and set it to a beat of African drums. Think of a more badass version of the Lion King, for grownups.

The ensemble was founded in 1952 and became the official national dance company of the Republic of Guinea when that country won its independence from France. The company, which has toured all over the world, incorporates traditional African instruments like the djembe (a drum thought to have healing powers), a krin (a piece of hollow wood used to transmit messages through a forest), rattles made from gourds, and lateral flutes made from bamboo. The choreography represents African daily life: dancers leap as though scurrying across hot sand, or make slashing motions with their arms as though bushwhacking through the jungle. Critical reviews of the troupe are overwhelmingly positive; The New York Daily News called the cast “a bolt of joy from Africa…They supply enough energy to light up a city." Les Ballets Africains perform Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts (701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach) Tickets cost $15 to $42. Call 561-832-SHOW, or visit www.kravis.org.
Wed., April 19

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