Cha Tiger was tricked

Performance with Renzo de Pablo at Huis De Pinto, Amsterdam.

Based on a story of the spider Kompa Nanzi. The stories originated on the west coast of Africa, in Ghana. Over the centuries the Anansi stories spread over the former European colonies, to which enslaved Africans were transported. Today these stories are part of our shared heritage.

In this performance Renzo and Renée reflect without many words on the feelings and actions in the story. Who is who: who is the Tiger, who is the Spider. With who do we identify? Would we interprete this story in another way in a decolonised community?

The story from the oral tradition in brief:

One evening Nanzi said to a group of people: “I’ll bet you that I can sit on Cha Tigers back, the way I can sit on the back of any dumb ass.” When Cha Tiger heard this, he went to Nanzi’s house. Nanzi, very scared, acted as if he was very ill. Cha Tiger felt sorry for Nanzi. So, he said: “OK, you can climb on my back.” Cha Tiger started running all the way to Shon Arei.
“See, Shon Arei? Cha Tiger is just my donkey”, Nanzi said. All the people shouted: “Long live Nanzi!” Cha Tiger felt embarrassed when he realized that Nanzi had tricked him. He ran off into the woods and has stayed there ever since.

Co creation Renée Koldewijn and Renzo de Pablo. Stills: film registration Jan van Goor, 2018