MAD MASTERS was a performance commissioned by and shown in a solo context at South London Gallery on 26 June 2008 in the main gallery space.
MAD MASTERS took as its starting point the 1955 ethnographic film ‘Les Maîtres Fous’ by Jean Rouch, depicting an African cult ritual in which British colonial processions are enacted through possessed dance. In the performance Mad Masters the elements of site and movement are reduced to include large scale sculptural props and an abstract choreography performed by a group of six dancers. The movements are awkward, angular and reminisant of both break-dancing and military routines, they move in and out of sync with each other. Their movement is framed by a live soundtrack: a ‘syncopated disharmony’ produced in collaboration with a percussionist. This is interspersed with a monologue read by one of the actors, derived from Jean Rouch’s script of the original film.