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

Fela Rehearsal - Yoga

Inside, the cast has already assembled. They begin with a series of warm-ups and yoga to prepare their bodies for the long day ahead.

About This Gallery

Bringing the life 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 Award winning choreographer and director Bill T. Jones, no less than ten 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 his subject's unbelievable story into perfect shape, fine-tuning a production which already collected rave reviews during its original off-Broadway run in 2008. He works in preparation for his brainchild's Broadway debut beginning this October at the Eugene O'Neill Theater, 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, "and the energy of his music encompasses that. We strive to bring that same energy into our theater, so that people can feel it for themselves. 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.

Photographer: Jenny Anderson, ©

Other Photos in this Gallery

Fela Rehearsal - Door
Fela Rehearsal - Yoga
Fela Rehearsal - Stretching
Fela Rehearsal - Sahr Ngaujah
Fela Rehearsal - Sahr Ngaujah stretching
Fela Rehearsal - wide group shot
Fela Rehearsal - Bill T. Jones - Tech staff
Fela Rehearsal - Split
Fela Rehearsal - Toe touch
Fela Rehearsal - Vocal warm-up
Fela Rehearsal - Maija Garcia
Fela Rehearsal - Balancing
Fela Rehearsal - Dance and music
Fela Rehearsal - Lillias White
Fela Rehearsal - Tech team
Fela Rehearsal - Saycon Sengbloh
Fela Rehearsal - Kevin Mambo - Saycon Sengbloh
Fela Rehearsal - Cast dancing
Fela Rehearsal - Bill T. Jones directing
Fela Rehearsal - Sahr Ngaujah - Saycon Sengbloh
Fela Rehearsal - Sahr Ngaujah notes
Fela Rehearsal - Sahr Ngaujah center
Fela Rehearsal - Bill T. Jones Final