Live! — sort of

By MARCIA B. SIEGEL  |  January 14, 2011

The cameras were in constant motion, shooting up at the action from floor level, panning across the thrust stage, nestling in close to Ngaujah's face as he explained the roots of his music, catching the momentary dance solos in full figure, then roaming from the anatomy of one gorgeous female in the chorus to another. Jones's choreography, a synthetic blend of Africanisms, breakdance, club dance, and attitude, seemed no more than a lively adjunct to the story. I thought the singers came off best: Paulette Ivory as Fela's American girlfriend, Sandra Izadore, and Melanie Marshall as his mother. The cameras really focused on them and let them convey their voices and their characters all by themselves.

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