MINNEAPOLIS, October 24, 2014—The Walker Art Center presents Tales of Home: Congo/Mozambique. This two-evening program of intimately scaled dance-theater, Friday-Saturday, November 7–8, 8 pm in the William and Nadine McGuire Theater, features extraordinary contemporary artists from the African continent and the welcome return of Walker favorite Faustin Linyekula. In both full-length works, Linyekula and Panaibra Gabriel Canda grapple with the complex histories of their countries by reigniting memories of and experiences with their fathers and their own experiences of dislocation, forced emigration, and cultural assimilation. They present, in very different ways, intimate and personal points of view on colonialized and postcolonial Africa, familial and national histories, and our global society—and in the process, reveal the rigor and passions of their contemporary lives.
Faustin Linyekula: Le Cargo
Friday, November 7, 8 pm
“Linyekula reminds us that moving performance doesn’t need pixels and live feeds—it can exist on the raw strength of the performer alone.”
Following the success of his recent work more more more… future, Linyekula presents his first-ever choreographed solo. Le Cargo tells of the artist’s return home in search of things lost and the dance, people, and music he reclaimed in the process.
Dancer and choreographer, Faustin lives and works in Kisangani, North-East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, former Zaire, former Belgian Congo, former independent state of Congo.
After literature studies in Kisangani, he moved to Nairobi in 1993 and in 1997 set up with Opiyo Okach the Gàara company, Kenya’s first contemporary dance company. Back in Congo in June 2001, he created the Studios Kabako in Kinshasa, a space dedicated to dance and visual theater, providing training programs, as well as supporting research and creation. Memory, forgetting, and the suppression of memory are reoccurring themes of his work and he addresses the legacy of decades of war, terror, fear and the collapse of the economy for himself, his family and his friends. Faustin has created eleven pieces with the Studios Kabako.
Among its most recent creations, more more more…future (2009) has been extensively touring in Europe (including Austria, France, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Germany, Great-Britain, Croatia, and Switzerland), Canada and Africa (Durban, Johannesburg, Kinshasa). The United States tour, produced by MAPP International Productions, traveled to Minneapolis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Albuquerque, and Chicago. It was awarded the 2012 the Bessie Award for Best Music Composition. Pour en finir avec Bérénice (2010), Faustin’s own private version of Jean Racine’s piece previously staged for the Comédie Française in Paris in Spring 09, was shown in Braunschweig, Angers, Avignon (Les Carmes), Paris (Théâtre National de Chaillot) and Brussels (KVS). Le Cargo, his first solo (2011) is still touring. Other recent collaborations include La Création du Monde 1923-2012, a piece for 24 dancers of the Ballet de Lorraine in Nancy (2012) and Djodjo Kazadi and Sans-titre (2009), a duet written by Raimund Hoghe. His latest creation, Drums and Digging, a piece for 7 performers, toured Europe in summer 2013 and will continue throughout 2014.
Faustin frequently teaches in Africa, Europe (Impulstanz, CNDC Angers, PARTS) and has taught in the United States (University of Florida-Gainesville, University of Arizona-Tempé). In 2007, he received the Principal Award of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development and is associate artist of the KVS Theater in Brussels.
Panaibra Gabriel Canda: Time and Spaces: Marrabenta Solos
Saturday, November 8, 8 pm
“Canda’s expressive and uniquely articulated body became the moving metaphor for the body of his country and the people’s struggle for identity.”
Since gaining independence from Portugal in 1975, Mozambique has been a land of social and political rifts in which an inflexible communist model gradually made way for a fragile democracy. This complex history is carried in marrabenta, a musical form born in the 1930s from a mix of local and European influences. Dance/choreographer Panaibra Gabriel Canda comments, “I have been listening to Marrabenta since I was born, as my father was a singer and guitar player of Marrabenta. My memories of this musical universe listening to my father singing and playing, is the starting point…It is a journey that grows out of the life, love and history of Southern Africa.” Time and Spaces: Marrabenta Solos deconstructs cultural representations of a “pure” African body. Accompanied by virtuoso guitarist Jorge Domingos, Canda dances and speaks about today’s African body that has absorbed the elements of colonialism, nationalism, modernity, and freedom of expression.
Panaibra Gabriel Canda
Panaibra Gabriel Canda was born in Maputo, Mozambique. His father was a musician, guitarist and marrabenta singer/composer, his mother a dressmaker. Canda received training in music, theater and dance. During his training in contemporary dance, he attended workshops in Lisbon sponsored by Danças nas Cidades, where he studied with Vera Mantero (Portugal), Frans Poelstra (Netherlands), Meg Stuart (US/Belgium), Reggie Wilson (US) and others.
Canda has greatly influenced contemporary dance in Mozambique and is recognized as one of the innovative and influential artists on the African continent. In 1998 he founded CulturArte, a company and producing organization through which he has been developing artistic projects, workshops and training programs. From 2003 to 2005 he developed the first choreographic development project for artists from Maputo and Matola, and from 2005 to 2007 in partnership with the French Cultural Center, he launched the first two dance platforms in Mozambique to encourage professional dance development. In addition to developing projects internationally, Canda is developing a regional collaboration with southern African contemporary artists.
As a dancer and choreographer, Canda has won awards and created works that have been presented in the U.S., Africa, Europe and Latin America. In 2006 he won second prize at the African choreographic meeting in Paris for the work, inside of me another island and in 2008 he garnered a ZKB patronage Prize in Zurich Switzerland for Mafalala2. Canda also won the Sylt Quelle Cultural Award for the project Time and Spaces: The Marrabenta Solos.
Jorge Domingos is a Mozambican guitarist, born in Maputo, who is part of the generation of musicians who immigrated to South Africa during the civil war in Mozambique in the 1980s. Domingos started his artistic career on bass guitar then moved to guitar and in 1995 joined with Gito Baloi’s solo project, playing on international tours and on Gito’s album, Nakurandza, as solo guitarist under the artistic name, “George Sunday.” After the death of Gito Baloi in 2004, Domingos moved back to Mozambique and with the help of Chico Antonio and Jorge Gove integrated into the music scene. In 2007 Jorge played with Chico’s band at the Francophonie Festival in France; in 2008 Jorge recorded his first dvd, Marrabenta Rio; and in 2010 he was invited to join choreographer and dancer Panaibra Gabriel Canda as instrumentalist and performer on Time and Spaces: The Marrabenta Solos. As a musician Domingos is influenced by rock and marrabenta, a passion his father Joao Domingos encouraged as a marrabenta singer in the 1980s. From these influences he created a marrabenta-rock style that he continues to develop and explore.
Tickets to Tales of Home: Congo/Mozambique are: $22 ($18 Walker members) per show; purchase tickets to both shows for $30 ($26) at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
Master Class with Faustin Linyekula
Tuesday, November 4, 7 – 9 pm, McGuire Theater
$10 ($6 Walker members)
“My dance will be an attempt to remember my name. I must have lost it somewhere along the dark alleys of Memory. I’ve been wandering ever since.” —Faustin Linyekula
Join Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula to explore ways that movement, individual identity, and personal memory can aid a choreographer in the development of their craft. In this workshop, participants will investigate how their voice can be expressed through their own unique movement vocabulary. Professional dancers or advanced-level, pre-professional college students preferred. Limited to 15 participants.
Creative Workshop: Recycling Movement with Panaibra Gabriel Canda
Wednesday, November 5, 7 – 8:30 pm, McGuire Theater
$10 ($6 Walker members)
This workshop introduces Panaibra Gabriel Canda’s modern movement technique with improvisation and creativity. After a warm-up, Canda will teach a series of movement phrases. Building on these, participants will reinterpret and invent new phrases and movements—even incorporating words and voice—for larger group improvisation. Advanced-level students and professional dancers preferred. Limited to 20 participants.
The Balcony Bar is open one hour prior to and after performances.
Supported in part with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts. North American tour produced by MAPP International Productions in partnership with The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium.
The Walker Art Center’s performing arts programs are made possible by generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through the Doris Duke Performing Arts Fund, the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Performing Arts programs and commissions at the Walker are generously supported by members of the Producers’ Council: Russell Cowles; Nor Hall and Roger Hale; King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson Pillsbury and Henry Pillsbury; Emily Maltz; Dr. William W. and Nadine M. McGuire; Leni and David Moore, Jr.; Josine Peters; Mike and Elizabeth Sweeney; and Frances and Frank Wilkinson.