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chrysalis: burkina faso

In our opening video, Sanou brings us to the streets of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, for an exploration of the theme of Chrysalis. Sanou’s concept is one of magical realism, fusing the quotidian and the idealistic: he brings the images of wings and flight into the quotidian life of his home city. Abrupt camera motion follows the progress of Sanou, whose body transforms into various manifestations of a new butterfly taking wing. At the same time, as Sanou tries to take flight, ordinary life carries on around him -  motorbikes, dogs, and chickens amble past him, heads turn of women on the way to their daily shopping. Interspersed with these images, however, is the orchestra in Oxford, set in a rooftop amphitheatre against a blue sky. This is the imagined world of Sanou’s mind, a sky where he can take flight and soar to music only heard by him. This fusion of locations should leave audiences with an uplifting sensation that taking flight is always possible - even if only in the mind.

Aguibou Bougobali Sanou is a dancer, choreographer, musician, and storyteller. In 2016, he was a semi-finalist on “Africa’s Got Talent.”  He has created work with support from the Institut Francais de Paris, Facets Choreographer residency in India, and the U.S. State Department Fulbright Scholarship. Born in Burkina Faso and raised in Burkina Faso and Mali, Sanou’s work is a mix of West African Mandingo traditional dances, Brazilian capoeira, and theater expressions drawn from his experiences with European stage directors. He designed an African dance curriculum at Naugatuck Valley Community College 2018-2019 and created a dance program at the civil prison of Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso). He is currently an MFA student at UArts Philadelphia.



Burkina Faso Unit





Music Recording


Aguibou Bougabali Sanou

Aguibou Bougabali Sanou

Aguibou Bougabali Sanou


Fanta Coulibaly 

Seydou Koné 

Directed by Aguibou Bougabali Sanou


Studio Afric Echos - Sylvain Dando PARÉ

Emilia Clark

With thanks to Daniel Curtis

Oxford Unit

Alex van Leeuwen


Calum Bradshaw

Oxford Alternative Orchestra

Hannah Schneider 


Violetta Suvini


Hannah Leighton-Jones 

Jenny Wang 

Elizabeth Nurse 

Marcus Spiegel 


Alexander Gunasekera 

Adi Jacobson 

William Emery 


Giulia da Cruz 

Lizi Vineall 


Samuel Hopkins 


Jonathan Danciger

Director of Photography

Lighting Cameraman


Music Director

Solo Violin








Music Recording and Mixing

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