MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Werewere Liking and the Ki-Yi Troupe, a West African theatre company, will perform “Les Immortelles” (“The Immortals”) on Monday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. on the Middlebury College campus. Free and open to the public, the event will take place in the McCullough Student Center Social Space on Old Chapel Road off South Main Street (Route 30).

Liking is a Cameroonian female playwright, poet, novelist, painter, singer, theatre and film director, actress, costume designer and jewelry maker. She is also the founder of the Village Ki-Yi M’Bock?words that signify “ultimate knowledge” in her native Bassa language?in Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast. The village, which is a cooperative, is home to some 50 resident artists of various artistic traditions, countries and ages.

The appearance of the seven-member Ki-Yi Troupe at Middlebury is part of the group’s “Les Reines Mères” or “The Queen Mothers” tour. The performers participating in the tour are the most experienced and versatile of the Ki-Yi’s actresses and musicians and all share a passion for the Pan-African tradition of female song. In “The Immortals,” Liking and another troupe member, Nsèrèl Njock, will serve as the queen mothers, acting as percussionists, singers and leading actresses. The audience will experience a show that is an equal outburst of rhythms, words, images, sounds and dances, all of which re-create the intimate world of the African woman?modern, yet deeply rooted in tradition.

Accompanying the actresses will be the Etoiles du Ki-Yi band with Pap Gnepo, the band’s founder and lead singer. The Etoiles du Ki-Yi will perform their new show titled “Woyo,” which literally means “Storyteller.” Gnepo began his musical career in the world of contemporary urban music. The Etoiles see themselves as urban bards, composing and playing the music of the street as if writing history?through bursts of drums, vocal ensembles, and modern, urban Pan-African dance.

This event is co-sponsored by a number of Middlebury College organizations: the Office for Institutional Diversity, the Foreign Language Division, the Rohatyn Center for International Affairs, the May Belle Chellis Women’s and Gender Studies Center, the PALANA Center, the Stephen Freeman Fund, the Pooled Enrichment Fund, the French Department, the Max Kade Fund, Cook Commons, Ross Commons, Wonnacott Commons, Atwater Commons Student Council and Cook Commons Student Council.

For more information, contact Jessa Karki in the Middlebury College Office for Institutional Diversity at 802-443-5615.

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