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Fela! - Broadway

The new musical based on the life and music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

In Rehearsal with Bill T. Jones and the Cast of Broadway's Fela!

In Rehearsal with Bill T. Jones and the Cast of Broadway's Fela!
Photo by: Jenny Anderson

Bringing the story of larger-than-life music and political icon Fela Anikulapo Kuti to the stage is no small task. It has taken one of the most able creative minds of the dance world, Tony-winning choreographer and director Bill T. Jones, no less than 10 years to do so—and he's still at work daily, as we discovered during a recent visit to new musical Fela!'s rehearsal space at 37 Arts Theatre. You'll find Jones there frequently these days, coaxing the stagable details of Fela's unbelievable story into perfect shape, fine-tuning a production which already collected rave reviews during its original off-Broadway run in 2008. He does this in preparation for his brainchild's Broadway debut beginning this October at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, and the cast and creative team follow him tirelessly, dancing and singing and working until sweat shines on every exposed inch of skin. "His life and influence was almost mythic in its scale," Jones said of Kuti to Broadway.com, "and the energy of his music encompasses that. So we must strive to bring that same energy into our theater, so that people can feel it for themselves and understand. It is a challenge." Click through our photos for an exclusive look at how Jones and his cast are recreating history—and possibly making some of their own in the process.

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