LISTENING BODIES / CORPS À L'ÉCOUTE is a podcast series in which African performing artists talk about their working methods, their personal careers, their references and the socio-political contexts of their art. The series provides insights into current trends in dance and performance on the African continent.
Artists Chuma Sopotela (South Africa), Edna Jaime (Mozambique), Fatou Cissé (Senegal), Julie Iarisoa (Madagascar), Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja (Namibia), Ogutu Muraya (Kenya), Serge Aimé Coulibaly (Burkina Faso), Zora Snake (Cameroon)
Idea Sarah Israel | Susanne Traub Concept Patrick Acogny | Sarah Israel | Rucera Seethal Moderation Patrick Acogny | Rucera Seethal Editing of the podcast & Organization Sarah Israel Technical Direction Refuge Worldwide | Richard Akingbehin | George Patrick | Oscar Ngu Atanga Creative Direction & Postproduction Refuge Worldwide | Oscar Ngu Atanga Sound Design & Composition Oscar Ngu Atanga Artwork Graeme Bateman Translation Maud Ruget Recordings (dubbing Sophie Douala | Margaux Gazur | Agnès Guipont | Ngako Keuni | | Luana Naquin | Stephane Moun (Peeps) | Oscar Ngu Atanga Audio Editing Margaux Gazur | Oscar Ngu Atanga | Graeme Bateman Administration & Production Spielmotor München e.V.
The podcast was supported by the Goethe Institut Munich, Department of Dance and Theatre and was produced in cooperation with the SPIELART Theatre Festival.
This show marks the launch of LISTENING BODIES / CORPS À L'ÉCOUTE, bringing together participants from Refuge Worldwide and SPIELART in addition to two featured recordists from the international dance community.
Chuma Sopotela is a multi-award winning South African actress, director, choreographer and performance artist. In 2018, she was awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance Art. Her stage works are performances that address issues and conflicts that affect her in her life as a woman but also as a resident of Khayelitsha, the township where she grew up and still lives today. She is an activist as well as an artist and sees the stage as a place of healing. Today she teaches at the University of Cape Town. In the podcast, we learn that Chuma Sopotela used her performing talent and her love of theatre in her childhood and adolescence to create moments of shared exhilaration as well as resistance in an everyday life marked by violence. Chuma Sopotela shows us that the struggle for change on and off stage can be fought without violence.
Edna Jaime is a Mozambican performer and choreographer based in Maputo. She is extensively trained in traditional dance and singing and has her own practice in contemporary dance. Edna Jaime danced for a long time in national companies and travelled to different regions of Mozambique. Today she tours internationally as a solo dancer as well as with her own choreographic works. In 2021, she founded KHANI KHEDI, Soluções Artísticas, an artistic-social project that aims to contribute to changing socio-cultural realities. In the podcast, we learn how her parents’ home shaped her with regard to gender roles and what significance traditional dance and music have for her career. Edna Jaime also tells us how, as a mother, she keeps finding new ways to advance her professional career.
Fatou Cissé lives in Dakar, where she was born and began her career as a dancer and choreographer at her father’s Manhattan Dance School. She continued her training in Afro Jazz, traditional dance of Guinea and traditional dances of Senegal and gradually created numerous works of her own, with which she successfully toured internationally. Since 2019, she has been realising the urban scenographic programme “La ville en mouv’ment”, in which artists from the fields of visual and performing arts work together and intervene in urban space. In the podcast, we accompany Fatou Cissé in her search for her place in society, dance and urban space as a woman who has a high awareness of her skills and a strong desire for freedom, but is attentive to tradition and the preservation of religious rules.
Julie Iarisoa is a choreographer and dancer who lives and works in Antananarivo, but also travels a lot outside Madagascar. She is director of the company Anjorombala and the dance studio Maray. She is also the initiator of various international encounter programmes and co-founder of the Evasion Danse festival. Her dance style combines contemporary dance, urban dance and elements of traditional dance. Today she is developing her own dance, Danse Maray, which she teaches in workshops. In the podcast, Julie Iarisoa shows us how she fights for her place in the dance world as a girl and a woman, how she is strongly influenced by her grandmother's ritual dance and how dance creates independence and a recognised space for her in a still patriarchal society.
Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja lives in Windhoek, having completed his PhD in Performance Studies at the University of Cape Town. He is a cultural worker, educator and writer with practical and academic interests in performance, archives and Public Culture. He is also a singer and performer with his band Tschuku Tschuku. His works are performed at numerous international festivals, museums, theatres and archives. Nashilongweshipwe Mushaandja shares his experiences of growing up between an unfavoured colonial working-class town and the countryside, where his grandparents’ strict rules dominated everyday life. These experiences have shaped his growing passion for music, theatre, Critical Theory and finally his artistic research. He uses the knowledge and methods of tradition to show how his work challenges existing colonial rules and structures of power in historical narratives and archival processes.
Ogutu Muraya lives in Nairobi and is a writer and dramatist whose work is embedded in a ‘practice of storytelling’. He studied international relations at the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi and graduated from the Academy of Theatre and Dance at the University of the Arts in Amsterdam in 2016. His art seeks new forms of storytelling that fuse socio-political aspects with the belief that art is an important catalyst for questioning inevitable facts. His performative works and his storytelling are shown internationally. In the podcast he talks about his journey to storytelling and writing in Kenya after the violence that followed the 2007 election. We listen to an artist questioning his life and hear stories that shape his work.
Serge Aimé Coulibaly, born in Bobo-Dioulasso (Burkina Faso), is one of the most successful choreographers on the African continent today. The works of his Faso Danse Théâtre are touring worldwide. He is a frequent guest at numerous international festivals and performing arts institutions and has received numerous awards. He sees his art as a space where he can convey political messages and give hope at the same time. His goal is to activate the youth and promote the idea of alternative futures. In the podcast, Serge talks about his artistic beginnings, the political activism of his youth in the time of President Thomas Sankara, long-standing collaborations that shape his work, and Ankata, the international performing arts research and production laboratory he created.
Zora Snake, born in Cameroon, is a dancer, choreographer and Performing Arts researcher. In addition to the Zora Snake Company, he also directs the Mondaperf Festival (Cameroon). His career began in urban dance and is now especially characterised by innovative works in public spaces. He tours worldwide as a performer and solo artist. In the podcast, he takes us to the village of his birth, the Bépanda district in Douala, where he blocked streets and stirred up crowds with dance at an early age. Zora Snake talks about his enthusiasm for the rapper Diam’s, the importance of Youtube, hip-hop and spirituality for his work as well as the different approaches he uses to work in public space in Europe or on the African continent.