Dancing with Empty Water Bottles at L’ Afrique a un incroyable talent, Brought to You by Nestlé

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  • 1 University of Bayreuth, Research Institute for Music Theatre Studies, Bayreuth, Germany


Departing from a close reading of a particular performance to examplify localisation processes of the global Reality TV talent show format, this paper offers an analysis of the relationship between talent shows and patronage. Based on a concrete music and dance performance analysis, it further contributes to the more general discussion of transnational format trade and format adaptation by putting a focus on the entanglement of patronage, intervention and transformation. The analysis of the performance in question addresses how the musicians and dancers approached a concrete problem by creating a sense of belonging, involvement and disorientation through aesthetic means. With their critical stance, they position themselves in a specific local performing arts tradition, which itself is connected to earlier theatre and TV talent contests. Referring to the concept of glocalisation, I suggest that local topics of critique and intervention are part of the localising effect of the Reality TV talent show format.

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