SATURDAY

Patrons hoping to see a narrative retelling of the Greek myth of Antigone will be perplexed by French choreographer Mathilde Monnier’s Pour Antigone. The story functions merely as metaphor in Monnier’s intelligent and well-crafted vision: It could be that colonized Africa is Antigone, France is the hard-hearted King Creon, and Polyneices, Antigone’s slain brother in need of burial, could be the past, the colonized people’s loss of innocence, or the seed of independence. The piece features 10 dancers—five black traditional African dancers and five white modern dancers—as well as the highly-regarded griot Zani Diabate, who adds live percussion and a spectral presence to the proceedings. Monnier doesn’t so much blend Western and African dance forms as she juxtaposes them. The dancers’ repetitious movements, the sheets of shimmering corrugated metal that make up the set, and the beautifully designed costumes create a series of striking images. As with the novels of Toni Morrison or the films of Wim Wenders, it’s best not to try to figure out what’s happening in Monnier’s work at first, but simply to enjoy its images. As the piece builds, its metaphors crystallize into an examination of freedom and oppression, and the interdependence between those in power and those under them. There are some riveting dance sections and some very slow drawn-out passages; the overall effect of the work is mysterious and haunting. At 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $20-$26.50. (202) 994-1500. (Holly Bass)