Songs, Dance, Inspiration, and "Fela!" - NBC Southern California

Songs, Dance, Inspiration, and "Fela!"

Michelle Williams stars in the music-filled spectacular, now at the Ahmanson.



    Songs, Dance, Inspiration, and "Fela!"
    Carol Rosegg
    Michelle Williams (center) and the cast of "Fela!" which plays at the Ahmanson Theatre through May 5.

    All creative fields have something in common, whether that field encompasses the visual arts or music or poetry or beyond. There are a few creators within that field whose work can instantly be recognized from a few steps or sounds or turns of phrase.

    Tony award-winner Bill T. Jones is one such icon, a choreographer who has raised dance's profile over the last few decades via every high-profile festival and venue, including Lincoln Center, the New York City Opera, and festivals around the world.

    The visionary's "Fela!" is now dancing, joyfully and with rather epic flair, at the Ahmanson through Sunday, May 5. Jim Lewis is

    Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child stars.

    Afrobeats, dynamic moves, and the work of Nigerian artist and activist Fela Kuti fill the musical with a powerful throughline of how music and forging positive change are deeply interconnected. And how a single person can lead on both of those fronts, easily and with exuberance.

    While Bill T. Jones is the force beyond the show, music and lyrics, of course, are Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's own. (Props to Jim Lewis, too, who wrote the book with Mr. Jones.) Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith present "Fela!," which is currently on a world tour.

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