Lettres du Congo / Letters from Congo

Christiana Tabaro & Michael Disanka, Didier Ediho, Jeannot Kumbonyeki, Dorine Mokha

Dorine lives and creates in Lubumbashi; Didier, Jeannot, Michael and Christiana in Kinshasa. The crisis has gone through: health crisis, political crisis, economic crisis above all, but crisis has become a permanent state in DRC. From the place they live and dream, each of them tells his/her daily life, difficulties, worries but also survival strategies and hopes. More than ever, each of them reaffirm the urgency to create, here and now, against all odds… These letters from Congo are part of a larger film project that will gather 21 letters from artists and collectives from 18 African countries to be released end of September 2020.

  • Genre: Dance, Film
  • Format: Video
  • Duration: 20min
  • Language: French, English subtitles
  • Ages: 12+
  • Available From: June 30, 2020

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Lettres from: Collectif D’Art D’Art / Christiana Tabaro & Michael Disanka, Didier Ediho, Jeannot Kumbonyeki, Dorine Mokha.
Conception: Faustin Linyekula, Virginie Dupray
Artistic direction & editing: Faustin Linyekula
Assisted by: Loys Linyekula
Production: Studios Kabako / Virginie Dupray.
Co-production: Manège, scène nationale, Reims / Institut français Paris / MC 93 Bobigny / Kaserne Basel / L’échangeur CDCN Hauts-de-France / Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR) Brussels / Festival de Marseille / Charleroi Danse Centre chorégraphique de Wallonie Bruxelles / Hau Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin / Théâtre de Vidy-Lausanne / Touka-danse – CDCN de Guyane / A-CDCN / Spielart Theaterfestival Munich / National Arts Festival Grahamstown / L’Art Rue Tunis

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Jeannot Kumbonyeki lives and works in Kinshasa. Born and raised in Kisangani, he starts dance in 2009, following workshops organized by Studios Kabako, training with Faustin Linyekula, Papy Ebotani, Hafiz Dhaou, Ula Sickle and Boyzie Cekwana… In 2011, he is selected by Vodacom Congo and is awarded best Congolese dancer of the Vodacom Kata Dance. As a performer, he worked with Ula Sickle, Faustin Linyekula and Michael Disanka and Christiana Tabaro. In 2016, Jeannot creates his first solo, Le Kombi, co-produced by Studios Kabako and presented to contemporary platforms Kinani in Mozambique and selected at the Biennale Danse l’Afrique Danse in Ouagadougou. Other dates included Infecting the City festival in Cape Town, Zürcher Theater Spektakel in Zurich, La Briqueterie and the Grande Halle de la Villette in France and the Kaai Theater in Brussels. His second piece, La danse de la rue 19, has just been premiered in Reims and will be shown at the Marrakech dance biennale in 2021.

Dorine Mokha lives and works between Lubumbashi and Kisangani, DRC. From 2009 to 2012, he follows Studios Kabako’s dance and theater workshops by Faustin Linyekula, but also by guest artists including Hafiz Dhaou, Andréya Ouamba, Boyzie Cekwana, Sylvain Prunenec, Desiré Davids and Panaibra Canda. In 2013, he creates his solo Entre-deux, the first part of a triptych work. The same year, he is selected for the Theaterformen watch and talk programme that brings him to Kinshasa and Hanover. One year later, he is awarded the Schloss Solitude fellowship in Stuttgart. He imagines there with South African choreographer Desiré Davids and French pianist Nicolas Mondon Trio sans titre, a Studios Kabako production. In 2015 he creates the second part of his triptych Entre-deux II : Lettres à Guz, a trio premiered at the Kinani festival in Maputo, also shown at the Danse l’Afrique danse trienniale in Ouagadougou in 2016. As a performer and collaborator, Dorine Mokha has worked with Carina Riedl (Germany) and Elia Rediger (Switzerland). In 2017, Mokha was selected to join the Avignon festival seminary and was part of the Zürcher Kantonalbank Prize jury at the Zürcher Theater Spektakel festival. Dorine is regularly writing texts for theatre, songs, as well as contributing to catalogues and reviews. Premiered at the Kaserne Basel in January, Entre deux :Testament, the last page of his tryptich, has received a fellowship from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg.

Didier Ediho lives and works in Kinshasa where he has been developing his work for 14 years, as a performer in the company Diba danse or for Papy Ebotani, and as a choreographer in his company, Losanganya dancing, which he founded in 2010. Didier trained with Jean-Marie Musungayi, Papy Ebotani, Faustin Linyekula, French director Jean-Paul Delore and choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly among others… His work is regularly shown in Kinshasa but has also been presented in Europe, including the Francophonies en Limousin festival in Limoges and the KVS Brussels. Didier has just premiered in January 2020 at the Manège in Reims, Tshota, a solo produced Studios Kabako.

Actor, director and writer, Michael Disanka lives and works in Kinshasa, a schizophrenic city, a city of friction, of collages, of rubbings, like his theatre, a theatre of scratching, a political theatre, but an intimate one as well born out of his stuttering. A theatre that he defines as “an exercise of truth in saying and doing”. Graduated from the National Institute of Arts in Kinshasa in 2011, he then decides to explore other territories and creates with Christiana Tabaro the Collectif d’Art-d’Art. In 2012, he starts hiscollaboration with the KVS Brussels and meet the Congolese playwright Dieudonné Niangouna, collaborating with him in several festivals including Connexion Kin 2012, Mantsina sur scène 2012 (Brazzaville), Connexion Kin 2013 and Theaterformen 2013 (Hanover). In 2015 he starts his dialogue with Faustin Linyekula. His new piece, Géométrie de vies, a Studios Kabako production with support from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg and Kaserne Basel, will be shown at the end of the year at the Bancs publics festival in Marseille.

Artists living and working in Kinshasa, Christiana Tabaro evolves in contemporary theatre. Always curious about other disciplines, she likes to take side paths to reach her goal. Graduated from the National Institute of Arts in Kinshasa in 2011, she then decides to explore other territories and creates with Michael Disanka the d’Art-d’Art Collective. Kinshasa is also very present in her inspiration. In the courtyards of houses, in neighbourhoods, in schools and universities, her work finds its true meaning. The relationship with the female body is also essential. Cosigned with Michael Disanka, her new piece, Géométrie de vies, a Studios Kabako production with support from Pro Helvetia Johannesburg and Kaserne Basel, will be shown at the end of the year at the Bancs publics festival in Marseille.