Drums and Digging

  • Dance
  • Theatre
  • Show
The 2013 archive

Faustin Linyekula / Studios Kabako

Kisangani / Created in 2013

The show will be broadcast live on ARTE on 13 July at 10:20 p.m.
Drums and Digging © Christophe Raynaud de Lage / Festival d'Avignon


What can still be told after 10 years of creation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo? How can you avoid trotting out the same stories, the same revolts, and the same disappointed hopes? How can you continue to move forward, to dream, despite everything? Wanting to answer these questions, Faustin Linyekula went back to the village of his childhood, in Obilo, on the tracks of his firs dance memories. A journey for which he surrounded himself with helpmates: Congolese artists like him, with a shared past but also different itineraries. Next, they visited Gdabolite, a small city transformed into an epicentre of Zaire by Major-General Mobutu. One of the artists, Véronique Aka Kwadeba, belongs to the family of the late president, to the fallen nobility that went, every year, to this isolated city in the middle of the equatorial forest. After having crossed the forests in single file, come across the ghosts of victims of the civil war and the Rwanda crisis, exhumed their memories and childhood aspirations, the interpreters of Drums and Digging form a circle to share with us what they felt, what they picked up during these months of creation. A circle to compose a narrative, so that memory and words circulate. To give us an idea, as well, of what can happen in the courtyard of Studios Kabako, Faustin Linyekula's workplace in Kisangani. An open-air theatre in which a family lives and a large mango tree grows, a place in which the dreams of the choreographer and those of many guest artists ripen. Like an echo to this space, the architect Bärbel Müller imagined a fragile bamboo construction that the interpreters of Drums and Digging, both dancers and actors, singers and musicians, will build each evening on the stage of the Cloître des Célestins. In this temporary shelter, in which drums and chants of the Mongo people ring out, the artists will provide an answer to the question that set off everything: to continue to move forward and to form a circle, a community. RB


conception Faustin Linyekula
scenography Bärbel Müller
lighting Virginie Galas
direction assistant Dorine Mokha

with Véronique Aka Kwadeba, Papy Ebotani, Rosette Lemba, Faustin Linyekula, Pasco Losanganya, Yves Mwamba, Pasnas


production Studios Kabako
coproduction Festival d'Avignon, Théâtre de la Ville-Paris, KVS (Bruxelles), Festival Theaterformen (Hanovre/Braunschweig)
with the support of: Kulturstiftung des Bundes dans le cadre de Shared Spaces, Pamoja - programme ACP-UE d'appui au secteur culturel ACP financé par l'Union européenne
with the support of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication DRAC Île-de-France
Festival d'Avignon is supported by Total for this show.

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