History/ies of Theatre II

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The 2019 archive

Faustin Linyekula

Kisangani - Gent / Created in 2019

Combining personal stories and History, choreographer Faustin Linyekula gives his outlook on the creation of the National Ballet of Zaire.

History/ies of Theatre II © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


After History/ies of Theatre, La Reprise, created last year for the Festival d'Avignon, director Milo Rau offered Faustin Linyekula the opportunity to continue this reflection about the theatre. For this History/ies of Theatre II, the Congolese choreographer turned to his own childhood and his memories of the first show by the National Ballet of Zaire under Mobutu's dictatorial regime. Accompanied by three artists who are still part of that institution, at once memory and survivor of an ambiguous cultural policy, and by two Congolese and Belgian actors, Faustin Linyeluka brings personal stories and History face to face, using the forms of his art: the presence of bodies in a post-colonial context, and the lively and generous alliance of singing, dance, and theatre. Like a house in which everyone is free to come and go as they please, the stage welcomes personal histories and national narrative, privacy and new perspectives.

Born in 1974, Faustin Linyekula is a dancer, choreographer, director, and storyteller. After studying literature and theatre, he founded a company in Kenya before coming back to the Republic of Congo to create a “space” of exchange and creation: Studios Kabako first in Kinshasa, then in Kisangani. His shows, which are like storytelling sessions, have been performed throughout the world. Faustin Linyekula is well-known to the audience of the Festival d'Avignon.


With Wawina Lifeteke, Papy Maurice Mbwiti, Marie-Jeanne Ndjoku Masula, Ikondongo Mukoko, Oscar Van Rompay

Artistic direction Faustin Linyekula
Direction assistant Papy Maurice Mbwiti
Costumes Ignace Yenga
External perspective Stefan Bläske
Direction internship Castélie Yalombo
Video L'Épopée de Lianja by Ballet National de la Compagnie Théâtre National Congolais (extracts)


Co-production NTGent, Studios Kabako
In collaboration with Ballet National de la Compagnie Théâtre National Congolais (Kinshasa) and Isaano, Positive Production (Kigali)
With the support of Belgian Tax Shelter, Onda Office national de diffusion artistique
In partnership with France Médias Monde

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