Program Type: 
Performance
Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako

more more more…future

September 29, 2011 - October 01, 2011
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater

Overview

West Coast Premiere
Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako
more more more…future
Thu & Fri, Sep 29–30; Sat, Oct 1, 2011  •  8 pm

“To be positive is the most subversive. Celebrating is a way of resisting. We are still alive in all of this.” —Faustin Linyekula

As part of its commitment to supporting the work of contemporary African choreographers, YBCA welcomes back Congolese choreographer and director Faustin Linyekula and his company of remarkable male dancers in collaboration with a Kinshasa-based band led by electric guitar star Flamme Kapaya, who will be making his U.S. debut tour. Their new piece, more more more... future, is a powerful dance/theater/performance work which reflects on the political, social and cultural history and present day struggles of the Congo. Part galvanizing dance, part cathartic concert, more more more... future takes inspiration from the driving force of ndombolo, a Congolese pop style that is a riotous blend of rumba, traditional rhythms, church fanfares and Sex Machine funk. Ndombolo musicians praise their own power, beautiful women, designer clothes and luxury cars — a fantasy life drawn from soap operas and American music videos. In more more more... future, the ndombolo expresses not the cheap, thin dreams of money and fame, but the difficulties, dead ends and mistakes of previous generations. On stage, the dancers twist and rage to seething political poems of Antoine Vumilia Muhindo, a political prisoner in Kinshasa and Linkyekula’s childhood friend, set to music composed and performed live by guitarist Flamme Kapaya and his five-piece band, to create a rebellious celebration of hope in the face of despair, subverting the dominant images of contemporary Congo with resourcefulness and hope.

The US tour of more more more... future is produced by MAPP International Productions in partnership with The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium, of which YBCA is a founding member.

ABOUT THE PIECE
We deserve more than the vanishing shadows of delusions
We deserve more than headlines and media compassion
More than the false happiness that blinds our minds
More than assistance, we deserve justice
More than money, we deserve dignity
More than a glorious past, we long for a future

Choreographer and director Faustin Linyekula creates intricate and powerful dance/theater/performance works which reflect on the political, social and cultural history and present day struggles of his home country. Through personal stories, communal activity and beautifully crafted choreography, his works subvert the dominant images of contemporary Congo with their resourcefulness and hope.

With more more more... future he takes inspiration from the driving force of ndombolo; bastard daughter of rumba, traditional rhythms, church fanfares and Sex Machine funk, this Congolese pop delivers unstoppable energy. Ndombolo musicians praise their own power, beautiful women, designer clothes and luxury cars — a fantasy life drawn from soap operas and American music videos — as if everything is granted in a country where in fact you have to start over again every day.

In more more more...future ndombolo expresses not the cheap, thin dreams of money and fame, but the difficulties, dead ends and mistakes of previous generations. Linyekula's choreography embraces creative destruction and stakes a claim to his own no-future society, saying "If it's impossible for us to send to hell a future that we never had, if it's difficult to go on ruining our pile of ruins, let's try to dream, the feet firmly kept on the ground, and just to imagine more future."

In this raucous and provocative performance three dancers, including Linyekula, twist and rage to the seething poems of Antoine Vumilia Muhindo, a political prisoner in Kinshasa and childhood friend of Linyekula's, set in song by music director Flamme Kapaya, an exceptional guitarist and a major star in the Congo. Driven by the rhythms of Kapaya and his five-member on-stage band, more more more... future is a fierce celebration of hope in the face of despair.

The Fall 2011 tour is produced by MAPP International Productions with the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium, continuing our five-year partnership with this prominent world artist.

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Events

  • Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako - Performance
    Sep 29, 2011 7:00pm
    Sep 30, 2011 7:00pm
    Oct 1, 2011 7:00pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater

    Thrifty Thursday, Thu, Sep 29: All Seats $5

    Limited free tickets for YBCA Members for the Friday, Sep 30, night performance available through the Box Office at 415-978-2787 x270 on a first-come, first-serve basis and are restricted to 2 per household.

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Curator Statement

I can think of few artists whose creative output more profoundly engages the social context than the performance work of Faustin Linyekula.

When I first encountered his work at a festival several years ago, I knew that I was seeing the work of an important artist—someone whose artistry should be shared with the rest of the world. I was particularly excited to bring his work to the Bay Area where audiences would appreciate and respond not only to his extraordinary talent but also to the social critique that underlies his work. This performance marks Faustin’s third visit to YBCA—and for those who will have seen all three pieces, the progression of his artistry and his thinking will be revelatory.

Simultaneously dystopic and utopic, more more more... future is Faustin’s latest and most profound critique of the world created in the confusion of his country, Congo. In a place of near total societal breakdown, what has one to look forward to but more... more more more... future? Hopeful and despairing, joyous and sad, ironic and exquisitely sincere, Faustin asks us to reckon with what we can possibly imagine as hope in the midst of chaos.

Given the current condition of our own world here in the Untied States, the idea of this piece has a resonance for us that we dare not, but must, admit. For us too, what is there but more more more... future? His extraordinarily gifted performance creates a context within which we too can confront that question.

With this performance, YBCA continues its ongoing association with the African Contemporary Arts Consortium in which we work with our colleagues throughout the United States to present the work of contemporary African artists. Faustin’s work is emblematic of the type of extraordinarily creative performance emerging from the African continent today. We are proud to be part of this effort and that we are able to present this amazing art from Africa to our community.

Kenneth J. Foster
Executive Director

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Artist Bio

Faustin Linyekula
Faustin Linyekula, dancer and choreographer, lives and works in Kisangani, in the north-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, former Zaire, former Belgian Congo, former independent state of Congo…

After eight years abroad, Linyekula returned to his native Congo in 2001 with a renewed desire to create art there. In the capital city of Kinshasa, he established the Studios Kabako, a company and art center dedicated to contemporary dance and visual theater. Studios Kabako aims to both address artistic and aesthetic issues and foster professional skills through research, creation and circulation. It provides training opportunities for artists, management and technical staff with a focus on nurturing artists to explore new ideas and collaborations both at home and abroad. Memory, forgetting and the suppression of memory are central to his works, addressing the legacy of decades of war, terror, fear and the collapse of the Congolese economy for himself, his family and his friends.

With Studios Kabako, Linyekula has presented several works: Spectacularly Empty (2001), Triptyque sans titre (2002), Spectacularly Empty II (2003), Radio Okapi (2004), Le Festival des Mensonges / Festival of Lies (2005), The Dialogue Series: i. Franco (2006) and The Dialogue Series: iii. Dinozord (2006) and conducted various international projects and collaborations with artists from France, Morocco, Ethiopia and Sweden and South Africa. Partnerships have also been established with institutions including: École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (Strasbourg, France); Collectif 12 (Mantes-La-Jolie, France); Centre National de la Danse (Paris, France); KAAY FECC dance festival (Dakar, Senegal); and GAARA Dance Company (Nairobi, Kenya).

In summer-fall 2005, Linyekula and Studios Kabako were invited to the U.S. by MAPP International Productions and The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium for creative residencies and performances, which marked the company's North American debut. Creative residencies were held at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, Bates Dance Festival and the University of Florida's Center for World Arts. Performances of Triptyque sans titre were presented at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Portland Institute of Contemporary Arts and University of Florida in partnership with Center for World Arts.

Recognized as a leading African choreographer, Faustin Linyekula has been a judge in the 2004 Rencontres Choréographiques Africaines in Madagascar and a facilitator for International Dialogues at the Kaay Fecc Festival in Senegal. In June 2005, Linyekula curated a series of Contemporary African Dance, Le Cargo, at the Centre National de la Danse in Paris. Linyekula has been commissioned to create work for the Avignon Festival, Theatre de Suresnes in Paris, the Tanzwochen Festival in Austria and by Peter Sellars of the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna.

Festival of Lies and The Dialogue Series: iii. Dinozord were both performed at the 2007 Avignon Festival. In 2007-08, he worked on the staging of La Fratrie errante, a text by Marie-Louise Bibish Mumbu. In 2009, he introduced his own version of Jean Racine's Bérénice commissioned by the Comédie-Française and the Gennevilliers Theater, Paris (March-June). Linyekula is also currently performing Sans-titre, a duet by and with Raimund Hoghe.

His most recent performance Pour en finir avec Bérénice was presented at the Festival d'Avignon 2010. In addition Linyekula continues to teach in Africa, Europe and the United States. In 2006-07, he was part of a think tank with other African artists and intellectuals around the creation of an arts center near Cape Town. In December 2007, he received the Principal Award of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development.

Since 2006, Linyekula has moved his activities to Kisangani and is now working on the development of a series of neighborhood cultural centers around performing arts and image in the city.

Antoine Vumilia Muhindo
The poems in more more more... future were written by Antoine Vumilia Muhindo, a childhood friend of Faustin Linyekula.

Antoine Vumilia Muhindo began writing as a young child and started his relationship with theatre in workshops organized by the French Cultural Center in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo. In the mid 1990s, he joined the rebel forces led by Laurent D&eacutesiré Kabila that brought Mobutu Sese Seko's 32-year reign to an end. In 2001, President Laurent D&eacutesiré Kabila was murdered, allegedly by one of his bodyguards. At the time, Muhindo was part of the National Information Agency, with an office in the President's building. Along with 30 others, he was arrested, tried in a special military tribunal and sentenced to death. He is currently serving his 9th year at the Makala prison in Kinshasa, where he continues to write. His story is the soundtrack of Faustin Linyekula's The Dialogue Series iii. Dinozord. He has also been published in European newspapers. In 2009, Linyekula asked him to write about future; the five poems he delivered became the five songs of more more more... future.

Lamine Badian Kouyaté / Xuly Bët
Lamine Badian Kouyaté / Xuly Bët is a Malian fashion designer who moved from his native Bamako, Mali to Paris around 1986. Kouyaté launched Xuly Bët ("Keep an open mind" in Wolof) in 1989 when he fell in love with the Parisian fashion scene while studying architecture at the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture in Strasbourg. Kouyaté's knack for recycling flea market finds, and patching them together with an African sensibility is what has brought him to the mainstream and major recognition. He was the inspiration for Forest Whitaker's role in Robert Altman's 1994 film, Prêt-à-Porter. Kouyaté cites designers Azzedine Alaïa and Yves Saint Laurent, contemporary Africa, and punk rock and funk as influences for his fashions. The Xuly Bët Funkin' Fashion Factory, or Xuly Bët, collection has been awarded with the Creator of the Year award by the New York Times (1994) and the ANDAM Fashion Award (1996). The collection was also a part of the Africa 2005 exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 2006, an exhibition was dedicated to his work in the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco Xuly Bët, Carnet de Voyage d'une collection. That same year, he celebrated the 10th anniversary of his shop at the Forum des Halles, Paris. In 2010 he opened a second space on the Boulevard Beaumarchais.

In 2009, he met Faustin Linyekula and created the costumes of more more more...future. Their collaboration will continue with Linyekula's next piece, La création du monde (2012).

Flamme Kapaya
Musical direction for more more more...future is provided by Flamme Kapaya. Acknowledged as one of the best guitar soloists of his generation, Kapaya lives and works between Paris and Kinshasa. Kapaya was raised in a musical tradition: his grandfather, a traditional chief in the Bandudu area, was also a gifted musician; and Kapaya was first trained by his brother Joe. As a teenager in Kinshasa, he began by singing in local traditional groups. A self-taught guitarist, he draws his inspiration from various musical genres including jazz (especially George Benson), classical and Latin music.

In 1997, he joined the mythic ndombolo group, Maison mère, accompanying the Congolese singer Werrason. At the heart of the group — as a musician but also as a composer and producer on numerous albums — he became "Flamme", taking his name from the cartoon hero of the 80s, Captain Flamme. He performed with Maison mère for 10 years with the group, taking part in several international tours.

In 2007, he met Faustin Linyekula, accompanying the performances of his piece Festival of Lies at the Avignon Festival in July 2007 and at the Faïencerie Theatre in Creil, France in May 2008. In August 2008, he joined Linyekula for two performances in Berlin as part of the 20th anniversary of the Tanz im August Festival. Kapaya also composed the music of Bérénice, staged by Linyekula at the Comédie Française in 2009.

As an independent artist, Flamme is now working on a solo album and a concert series Banningsville, produced by the Studios Kabako, around traditional music of the Bandundu region in Congo. In November 2009, he released his first single “Surprise.”

Papy Ebotani
Papy Ebotani lives and works in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. He began his career with various rap groups in Kinshasa, before working with the Diba Danse/Jean-Marie Musungayi. He has participated in workshops with Fred Bendongué, Toufik Oudhriri Idrissi, Hanna Hedman, Sylvain Prunenec, Pep Ramis and Meg Stuart. In 2006-07 he collaborated with Belgian composer and video artist Thierry de Mey to make his first solo work, Na tempo (2004), which has toured extensively in Europe and Brazil and was presented as part of the African Current program at Dance Umbrella 2009 in South Africa. The following year he collaborated with dancer/choreographer Djodjo Kazadi to create Ya biso (For us), a duet performed in Kinshasa and Bamako, and throughout Europe. His piece for one dancer and ten walk-ons, Parlement debout (2007) has been shown in Europe and Brazil. His most recent work, a quartet entitled Engundele (2009) premiered at the Biennale de Charleroi in Belgium. Ebotani regularly teaches in Kinshasa and Kisangani (DRC) and has also conducted workshops in Brazil and Reunion. As an associated artist with the Studios Kabako, Ebotani has been performed in almost all of Faustin Linyekula's pieces since 2001: Spectacularly Empty (2001), Triptyque sans titre (2002), Spectacularly Empty II (2003), Radio Okapi (2003-04), Festival of Lies (2005-06), The Dialogue Series: iii. Dinozord (2006) and more more more... future (2009).

Dinozord
Dinozord is a dancer and rap singer who works and lives in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2004, Dinozord met Faustin Linyekula at the French Cultural Center in Kinshasa. When Linyekula asked how he came to his name, Dinozord replied "Because I am the last of my kind!" He was only 16 at the time. He has participated in several workshops with the Studios Kabako, and with French breakdancer Anne Nguyen and dancer Céline Bacque. In 2005, he worked with Belgian composer and video artist Thierry de Mey. In 2006, he performed in The Dialogue Series: iii. Dinozord, which toured extensively in Europe. Since 2008, he has collaborated with Brussels-based choreographer Ula Sickle with whom he wrote the solo Solid Gold (2010), which has been performed in Brussels, Kinshasa and Montreal. He is currently working on his first solo piece, produced by the Studios Kabako.

Patient Mufutala Useni, aka Pasnas (vocals), writes rhymes to say what he feels on the inside: the brutal loss of both his parents, sudden changes in his standard of living, and daily life in Kisangani where he was born and currently lives. Pasnas grew up in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and studied law and literature. In 1998, together with other young rappers in Kisangani, he founded a group called TERSCH (Terrible Expressions de la Racaille Sous Couvert de Hargne). In 2005, his solo efforts were included on a Radio Okapi (DRC radio network) compilation. Since 2006, he has worked with Faustin Linyekula in La Fratrie errante, a work created by Linyekula with text by Marie-Louise Bibish Mumbu, and in more, more, more... future. In April 2007, he presented a unique concert, Chronique(s), curated by Faustin Linyekula at the KVS Theater in Brussels. Since then, the Studios Kabako have presented him in several concerts in Kisangani and in Rwanda. In 2010, he will perform in Austria within the festival Treffpunkt Africa, and at Zèbre in France within the festival Francophonie en Limousin.

Pepé Malumba Musema, aka Le Coq (vocals), lives and works in Kisangani. He made his performing debut in 1998 as a dancer with the Kisangani band Shining Star. In 1999, he founded and became the singer for the band Quartier des Stars. In 2006, he became the lead singer of the historical ndombolo group, Singa Mwambe, with which he regularly performs in Kisangani and in the Province Orientale in north-east Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 2008, he has been collaborating with rap singer Alesh. After participating in a two-week workshop with the Studios Kabako, he joined the cast of more more more... future.

Patou Tempète Kayembe (drums) lives and works in Kisangani. Kayembe is a self-taught musician. He started out with hip-hop group Mega Soul in the late 1990s. In 2000 he began working alongside the rap group TERSCH, where he met Pasnas with whom he has worked ever since. In 2008, Kayembe accompanied Pasnas in a Studios Kabako performance in Belgium, after which he was invited to join the cast of more, more, more... future. Kayembe's work can also be found on the first album by Congolese rapper Alesh (released June 2010), whom he also accompanies in concert.

Rémi Bassinta Nightness (bass) was born in Kinshasa, into a family of musicians. In 1996 he left his homeland to live in Belgium. In 1998 he joined the group Pro Musica de Bora Dingom (soukouss), and Family Jammin' (reggae-funk fusion). After, he worked with Bubblegum Sound (raga hip-hop), Ifam (reggae), Soul Finer Expérience (soul-pop), Gandhi (rap) and Marie Daulne (Zap Mama).

YBCA’s programs are made possible in part by:
Abundance Foundation
Adobe
Koret Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Novellus Systems

YBCA Performance 11–12 is made possible in part by:
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Additional Funding for YBCA Performance 11–12:
New England Foundation for the Arts
Panta Rhea Foundation
Cultural Services of the French Embassy
New England Foundation for the Arts
and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Funded in part by the Institut Français and by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts. NDP is supported by lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust.