This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

22Mar/13

YOU DON’T NEED FEET TO DANCE

Sidiki Conde

West African immigrant Sidiki Conde shares his inspirational story in intimate new documentary

YOU DON’T NEED FEET TO DANCE (Alan Govenar, 2012)
Quad Cinema
34 West 13th St.
Opens Friday, March 22
212-255-2243
www.quadcinema.com
www.youdontneedfeettodance.com

They don’t come much more inspirational than Sidiki Conde. Born in Guinea in 1961, Sidiki contracted polio when he was fourteen, ultimately losing the use of his lower legs. But he didn’t lose his inner spirit and sense of humor, strengthening his upper body and learning how to walk — and dance — using his hands. Director Alan Govenar (The Beat Hotel) shares Sidiki’s inspiring story in the new documentary You Don’t Need Feet to Dance, opening at the Quad on March 22. Govenar follows Sidiki as he goes through a normal day: waking up, brushing his teeth, walking down five flights of stairs in his apartment building, putting together his wheelchair, rolling through the streets of New York greeting his many friends, taking the bus or the subway, going for a ride in his specially made bicycle (powered by his hands), and, primarily, teaching disabled children how to play music and love life. All the while, he wears a big ear-to-ear smile, loving virtually every minute of what is not exactly an easy existence. A singer, dancer, composer, drummer, and choreographer, Sidiki was a member of Mohamed Komoko Sano’s Merveilles D’Afrique in Guinea, and in 1998, after immigrating to the United States, he founded the Tokounou All-Abilities Dance and Music Ensemble. His joie de vivre is nothing short of infectious; the only thing that gets him down is when not enough people show up for a party. Govenar doesn’t turn Sidiki into some kind of circus sideshow; instead, he lets Sidiki tell his story his own way, the only way he knows how: with plenty of love, humor, and gratitude to spread around.

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