REDCAT begins its 2017 fall season on September 28 with a limited three-night run of Congolese choreographer, writer and director Faustin Linyekula’s gripping work Sur Les Traces de Dinozord (In Search of Dinozord) following its premiere in New York at the NYU Skirball. “There’s no walking away from Mr. Linyekula…painful, brutal, live-wire intensity.” —The New York Times.
Linyekula is one of Africa’s most brilliant artists. He was born in Ubundu, Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo. After the Mobutu Sésé Seko government closed the universities in his country, Linyekula went to school in Kenya. His first venture into choreography took place in 1997 after he co-founded the first contemporary dance company in Kenya, La Compagnie Gàara, along with mime Opiyo Okach and dancer Afrah Tenambergen . He did a brief residency with choreographers Regine Chopinot and Mathilde Monnie before returning to the Congo in 2001 where he founded the Studios Kabako, a Congolese performance and theater studio. Their website states that Studios Kabako “was created to address social memory, fear, and hope in the aftermath of civil war.” While training dancers, Linyekula sees to it that they and their families are given the funds to buy food.
“Faustin responded with a clear-eyed, shattering, and ennobling work which repurposed and reimagined the Mozart Requiem to describe the killings in Kisangani and their aftermath and to trace the fates of his dispersed colleagues. The Viennese were stunned. This is the major work that Faustin now brings to REDCAT. ” said renowned theater director Peter Sellers. Sellers had commissioned a work by Linyekula to commemorate the 250th birthday of Mozart in the city of Vienna. Here is a link to a video of a dialogue with Linyekula and Sellers. https://vimeo.com/51224208.
His city of Kisingane is called “the city of sorrow”. Millions of its people have been massacred by the surrounding Ugandan and Rwandan armies fighting over natural resources. It is this history that drives Linyekula’s creativity and dance is his artistic vehicle to offer his people hope of a better future.
In a New York Times article, Linyekula talks about the struggles of living in such turmoil; a place where it is common for 100 people to be murdered in a single day. He expresses how difficult it is to feel hope of a better future while living under these conditions. “I have to fight for it,” he said. ‘I have to invent it.” He goes on to explain that his work is a form of physical poetry or storytelling about who he is and who his countrymen are. Sur les traces de Dinoz0rd is a dance/theater piece that offers hope in the struggles of war, economic breakdown and ruin within the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“Maybe the most important thing is not art, maybe it is to create a set where we can begin to believe in something in a context where it is so difficult to believe in anything. If that is art, then I love that. I would like to continue.” – Faustin Linyekula
Sur Les Traces de Dinozord is directed by Faustin Linyekula with countertenor and rising opera star Serge Kakudji ; dancers Jean Kumbonyeki Deba, Papy Ebotani, Yves Mwamba Bakadiasa, Faustin Linyekula; and actors Papy Maurice Mbwiti, Antoine Vumilia Muhindo. It is performed in French with English subtitles with text by Richard Kabako and Antoine Vumilia Muhindo.
What: Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako: Sur les traces de Dinozord
When: September 28 – 30, 2017 at 8: 30PM
For information and tickets, click here.