THE STORY OF THE GLORIOUS BALLET DU ZAÏRE, A SYMBOL OF DAWNING INDEPENDENCE, TOLD, DANCED, AND SUNG BY ITS ORIGINAL PERFORMERS.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I am an African actor, I have exotic stories to sell…” With a voice like a lion’s roar, Papy Maurice Mbwiti orchestrates a reconsideration of the history of the Ballet du Zaïre, the internationally acclaimed dance company founded by Mobutu in 1974. Between cabaret and documentary theatre, scenes from the period are reborn, including both the major moments that brought the nation together and anecdotes from private life. Three original performers, sought out for this production, play with their memories and reconstruct the legendary moments of their story. Under the artistic direction of choreographer Faustin Linyekula, the songs, tears, and dances of yesterday and today outline the country’s artistic and political history, told by those who embodied the Ballet du Zaïre. Leading to this final question: are we ready to face our history?
artistic direction Faustin Linyekula
direction assistant Papy Maurice Mbwiti // outside perspective Stefan Bläske // costumes production Ignace Yenga // video L’épopée de Lyanja du Ballet national de la Compagnie Théâtre national Congolais (extraits)
with Wawina Lifeteke, Papy Maurice Mbwiti, Ikondongo Mukoko, Marie-Jeanne Ndjoku Masula, Oscar Van Rompay