Si c'est un nègre / autoportrait
Si c'est un nègre
What has been your rapport to date with the solo in your progress as a performer?
Sylvain Prunenec: Apart from solos that I have performed within shows, I wrote and performed a solo some years ago. After the path my performing career had taken, I felt the need: the need to re-examine myself, the work I had done with Odile Duboc, Dominique Bagouet and that image of “beautiful dance” which was difficult to shake off.
You decided to work with Faustin Linyekula. How did you make this choice?
Sylvain Prunenec: I wanted to work with an African choreographer in order to develop the rapports which I already had with dancers from many African countries. It was also the opportunity to discover a new choreographer; that was part of the adventure. I liked Faustin Linyekula's work, and found it surprising. He mixes rage, gentleness and irony all at the same time.
Can you say what it means to go from “choreographing a solo for oneself” to creating a solo for someone else? How do you go about making this shift?
Faustin Linyekula: I had never choreographed a solo for anyone else. I had done one thirteen minutes long which I had only performed a few times. I don't dance to be on my own. So this thirty-minute solo would be a first for me; I took it on as a new challenge. In my compositions intended for a number of performers, I have always worked with everyone as an individual, taking into account where they are coming from. In this case, I had the opportunity to take the encounter with one person further, as there was only one presence with which to fill the space.
Updating: March 2010
Born in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, the dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula combines the power of theatre, the expressive force of dance and sharp political critique to explore post-colonial reality with courage and humour.
Faustin Linyekula grew up and studied literature and theatre in Kisangani. Because of the political troubles, he moved to Nairobi and co-founded the first contemporary dance company in Kenya. A prize awarded by the Angola International Dance Festival opened the doors to the international dance scene, and he was invited to present Tales Off the Mud Walls at the 2002 Summer Tanz Festival in Vienna. French audiences discovered his work at the 2007 Avignon Festival with Le Festival des mensonges. Despite his emerging international career, Faustin Linyekula decided to go back to DRC to found Studios Kabako in Kinshasa, a multidisciplinary training, production and distribution centre that now operates out of Kisangani. Faustin Linyekula regularly teaches in Africa, the USA and Europe (Paris, CNDC Angers, Impulstanz, etc.) In 2007 he was awarded the Grand Prix de la Fondation Prince Claus for Culture and Development, and in 2014 the Grand Prix de la Fondation CurryStone for his work at Studios Kabako. In 2016 he was appointed Associate Artist for the City of Lisbon.
Source : Festival de Marseille
More information: http://www.kabako.org
Centre national de la danse, Réalisation
Si c'est un nègre
Choreography : Faustin Linyekula
Interpretation : Sylvain Prunenec
Sound : Joachim Montessuis
Duration : 30 minutes