Societal topics, but with joy and lightness 

D’un rêve – a choreography by Burkinabe Salia Sanou – is a strong societal tragicomedy and a joyful piece about the power of a shared dream. 

Combining contemporary dance, African roots and live singing, D’un rêve is a musical that creates an epic tale about the history of the black body. With D’un rêve Sanou pursues his exploration of themes linked to borders, exile, identity and otherness. 

D’un rêve is inspired by the iconic phrase “I have a dream” by Martin Luther King and the isolation that was brought by covid. 

“In my turn, I had a dream, a dream of the collective in which the “we” prevails over the “I”, a dream of a reconciled humanity that would ban the domination of people and bodies forever”, Sanou says. 

The dream is to bring people together 

D’un rêve leads us to the cotton fields filled by working slaves. There, the image of a collective work is mixed with a painful solitude. 

When pandemic hit the world, it was for Sanou – as for many others too – a time of utter shock, isolation and loneliness. 

“During the lockdown, I felt like a prisoner. It was a strange impression, as if the silence of the outside and the solitude of the inside imposed by the health crisis created a soundless atmosphere that inevitably carried me to the cotton fields”, Sanou tells us. 

“D’un rêve allowed me to imagine a return to life with dance and singing. Without a doubt, both are what made slaves feel alive.” 

Bringing people together is a important factor in Sanou’s art. This is seen for example in the backgrounds of the dancers, as they are very different. Male dancers were trained in Burkina Faso in the CDC La Termitière. Female dancers come from different countries all over the world. 

“My company is an extension of my firm belief that potency of culture is a factor in bringing human beings closer together, a vector of dialogue and understanding among them.” 

D’un rêve is about a dream. So what is Salia Sanou’s personal dream? 

 “Coming together to invent the “joyous daybreak” of which Reverend Luther King spoke.” 

Salia Sanou ja Compagnie Mouvements Perpétuels-group present D’un Rêve at Kuopio Dance Festival 14. & 15.6.2023

Compagnie Mouvements Perpétuels / Cie Salia Sanou: D’un Rêve

Salia Sanou. Photo: Antoine Tempe