ImPulsTanz 2021 © Video Editing: Maximilian Pramatarov

Maria Tembe & Panaibra Gabriel Canda (MZ)

Solo for Maria

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit”, Billie Holiday sings in a voice that is both strong and delicate. “Blood on the leaves and blood at the root / Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze / Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees.” Maria Tembe dances in a white tutu. Under the tutu, however, the legs are missing. Which makes her an absolutely extraordinary dancer. Like Panaibra Gabriel Canda, who created this solo for her, Tembe comes from Maputo, the capital of Mozambique in Southeast Africa. At the beginning of the piece, she dances in silence for ten minutes, showing her body. Even after this short time, her audience’s gaze will never be the same again. Only when the gaze has been adjusted does Holiday’s canonical song begin. Maria Tembe lives a difficult life that has taught her to transgress boundaries and to make the seemingly impossible become reality. She has become a successful dancer despite her amputated legs. And we understand why.

Austrian Premiere
Duration: 35 Minutes