Narrating African tales at the French Institute

A handsome and familiar face is back in Athens this week for a sole performance at the city’s French Institute tomorrow night. Malian actor Sotigui Kouyate is scheduled to present «La voix du Griot: Contes et musique» (The Voice of Griot: Myths and Music) in the institute’s auditorium tomorrow at 8.30 p.m. Family affair Featuring the Kouyate family – namely Sotigui, his wife Esther and their children Mabo and Yagare – the performance is based on African folk tales and a good amount of improvisation. Where does a «Griot» come from? West African poets, singers and musicians, «Griots» live in many African lands today, including Mali, Gambia, Guinea and Senegal. Accompanying the Kouyate family in the French Institute performance are Tom Diakite and Ibrahima Traore on percussion as well as dancer Hawa Diabate. Sotigui Kouyate enjoys a great relationship with Greece. Only last month, he was a member of the jury for the 46th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, while last summer he appeared at the Petra International Summer 2005 Festival, taking the lead in Peter Brook’s production of «Tierno Bokar,» a play based on the life of a Sufi. Two languages A double language bill, tomorrow’s performance will be interpreted in French by the Kouyate family and narrated in Greek by actress Anthi Efstathopoulou, a specialist in storytelling who has worked alongside Sotigui Kouyate at Peter Brook’s Bouffe du Nord Theater in Paris. French Institute in Athens, 31 Sina, tel 210.339.8600. Admission is 8 euros.