Michael Wanga: Unveiling the Artistic Shaman

In the vibrant landscape of performance art, a new force is emerging, shaping narratives with rhythm, movement, and spirituality. Michael Wanga, a multifaceted talent known by the alias Karpachii, embodies this fusion of creativity and cultural exploration. As part of the esteemed Hoge Ogen trajectory at Bijlmer Parktheater, Michael embarks on a journey to craft his inaugural solo performance, "Den Mi Wesu" (Papiamentu for 'In My Bones'), slated for debut at the Fringe Festival September 2023.

Born into a milieu pulsating with music and expression, Michael's roots trace back to a lineage of performers and healers. Reflecting on his upbringing, he shares, "In my family, the majority are either medics or artists. My earliest experiences intertwine with the stage, with my mother's performances resonating even before my birth. I've traversed a lifelong path of performance, dance, and music."

Transitioning from the world of breakdancing and battling, Michael found a new dimension in theater, infusing his charismatic style with theatricality. Now, in his solo endeavor, he aims to delve deeper into an intuitive approach to movement, drawing from the spiritual essence of his homeland, Curaçao, to redefine his identity through rhythm and motion.

Michael identifies as an artistic shaman, a conduit between realms of entertainment and spiritual enlightenment. He seeks to unravel the intricate interplay between innate movements encoded in his genes and the cultivated skills acquired over years of practice. "Some movements reside within us, inherent to our cultural fabric. Growing up immersed in Caribbean dance forms like breaking, capoeira, and hip-hop reinforced these natural inclinations. My goal is to blend these streams, deciphering what is ritualistic and what is skillful expression."

Within the Hoge Ogen trajectory, Michael endeavors to transcend mental barriers, allowing his instincts to guide him through uncharted territories of movement. Simultaneously, he pushes his physical limits, discerning between inherent abilities and learned techniques, envisioning a performance that resonates both with his Caribbean heritage and a broader audience.

As he delves into the creative process, Michael contemplates the role of language in bridging movement with audience comprehension. "Movement is inherently multilayered, open to diverse interpretations. Yet, I'm intrigued by how words can elucidate the narrative, making it accessible to all. I aim to weave together elements of set design, dramaturgy, lighting, humor, verbal expression, and facial cues to forge a connection with the audience, inviting them on the journey of movement exploration."

"Den Mi Wesu" serves as a profound exploration of rhythm and spirituality, intertwining ancestral narratives with contemporary expression. Michael's heritage, a fusion of indigenous resilience and African diasporic legacy, forms the bedrock of his artistic odyssey. Through instruments, vocals, and choreography, he unearths the profound connection with his forebears, embarking on a journey to reveal the essence of spiritual experience through rhythmic manifestations.

In crafting "Den Mi Wesu," Michael invites audiences to embark on a transformative voyage, where rhythm transcends boundaries, and spirituality permeates every movement. It's a celebration of heritage, a testament to resilience, and an invitation to connect with the primal rhythms pulsating within us all. Join Michael Wanga on this exhilarating theatrical odyssey, where the past converges with the present, and the beat of generations echoes through time.

More "Den Mi Wesu" performances will be planned on May 2 to 4 at The Cathedral of Thorns located at Landhuis Bloemhof.

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