Articles review on the net, revue d'articles sur la toile

Inscription : feeds, flux :
(Atom) Gabriel Real World News

27 août 2008

Festival of World Cultures in Dublin

The Irish Times, Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Last weekend's Festival of World Cultures in Dún Laoghaire Co Dublin is assessed by Siobhan Long

From the roof of the world to the western hip of Africa, the serene heart of Japan and the plains of inner Mongolia, Dún Laoghaire's Festival of World Cultures sought out diversity in this year's programme to match anything you'll encounter in the so-called melting pot of NYC or in the most ambitiously programmed Womad festivals of Peter Gabriel.

The opening headliner, Yungchen Lhamo, playing for the first time in Ireland with a full band, drew a packed house in Monkstown, and the raw power and bell-like timbre of her voice transfixed like nothing else.

She was at her best when she let the inherent dissonance of her voice bask in her Tibetan repertoire, propelled by her most divine sinuous movements, but her choice of backing musicians (including a keyboardist from San José and Living Colour's Will Calhoun) imposed a blandness that diluted rather than distilled her magnificent repertoire.

Her attempt at audience participation was laboured too, hampered by her choice of a melody line that was far from compelling and ultimately too complex for rapid rote learning by an audience unschooled in the nuances of Tibetan songlines.

Yungchen Lhamo's spontaneous decision to embrace two wheelchair users in the front row served to underline some cultural differences that grated fundamentally too: her Tibetan instincts prompted a distinctly patronising response to audience members who surely came for the music, and not for a dose of maternal mollycoddling.

Fellow Tibetan Lobsang Dargye lent some vibrant support to the evening with an edgy set that betrayed the strangest echoes of both sean-nós and Appalachian singing.

On backing vocals, Julie Fields brought a curious Irish language song about Tibet, Mo Phaidreacha and Niwel Tsimbu explored the rhythmic possibilities of Dargye's songs with his customary inventiveness.

Freemuse award winner Tiken Jah Fakoly was an able headliner at Newtownsmith's outdoor stage on Saturday afternoon, his heady mix of syncopated rhythms drawing an enthusiastic response from a hugely eclectic audience. Fakoly's acrobatic antics and charismatic communication, together with his highly politicised agenda, did much to underline the essential commonalities (rather than the differences) across his beloved Africa.

Andy Irvine echoed Fakoly's refreshingly articulate political repertoire with his own, at the smaller Kingston Garden stage, where his visceral cover of Woody Guthrie's All You Fascists served as a timely reminder of the ties that have bound so many folk and traditional singers to one another, crossing boundaries and continents without a backward glance towards passport control.

The Geisha Performance transpired to be all about unveiling that essential mystique that renders them so compelling. Although dispelling any tawdry western presumptions that the Geisha are a veiled form of prostitution, MC Peter McIntosh did little to embellish the stark beauty and restraint of the two Geisha, whose artful performance was marred by his off-the-cuff, unrehearsed explanatory asides.

Sunday's unstinting sunshine happily lured the crowds out in their thousands, but this led to a bottleneck at Lisa Hannigan's outdoor stage, where her much-anticipated solo performance was barely audible or visible amid the throng.

Later, Mongolian singer and performance artist Sa Dingding brought a magnificent exoticism to the mix, her porcelain skin and lyrical dance movements underpinning a vocal repertoire drawn largely from the endless plains of her home country.

A pair of accompanying dancers added a deliciously primeval quality to the evening, their intense acrobatic choreography tracing the storylines of her songs with sensual and, at times, bullet-speed ease.

Sa Dingding's lo-fi backbeats, electric violin and pumping percussion was an interesting, if at times curious backdrop: the gorgeous effeteness of her performance shoehorned into a shape less refined by the demands of the orchestrations.

This year's Festival of World Cultures was a mostly exhilarating mix of music, dance, performance art and magic - not all of it persuasive enough to warrant deeper excavation, but certainly enough swagger and panache to keep the punters cleaving firmly to the harbourside for the entire weekend.

Aucun commentaire: