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Dance SDC

From Lubunga: Sello Pesa and Humphrey Maleka on residency at Studios Kabako

South Africa >> DRC

Lubunga is the only Kisangani district located on the south bank of the Congo river. Its roughly 250,000 inhabitants live there without any infrastructure: no running water and almost no electricity. Since 2013, Studios Kabako has been working in this specific neighbourhood where the organisation’s founder, Faustin Linyekula, partly grew up, to explore the notion of how to speak to a city from its most fragile part.

Programmes and actions specifically dedicated to children and young people have been implemented around drinking water (a pilot water treatment centre was opened in 2018), energy and environmental issues, while regular events, screenings, concerts and performances have been organised. Since January 2018, a group of 12 young people have been trained in film and production. In 2017 a piece of a land was acquired for the use of weekly screenings and events take place. In 2021 this site will host a neighbourhood cultural centre. 

In this context, South African choreographers Sello Pesa and Humphrey Maleka have been invited for a 3-week residency in the district in January 2021. Within an open framework, Sello and Humphrey will work and collaborate with local artists and people from the community. The two visiting artists will be shadowed by the group of production trainees and their activities documented by the film group. The residency will end with a public performance / event in Lubunga. 


Sello Pesa is a Soweto born choreographer and dancer interested in the changes and challenges that arise from living in South Africa and is greatly respected locally and overseas. He has performed extensively around the world in countries such as Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Reunion Island, India, Europe, Russia, America and Africa and is and a great exponent of African Dance. In 2006 Sello founded Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre as a Non-Profit Organisation, and as artistic director of the organisation has been instrumental in starting the training and development programme which aims to train and develop young dance practitioners into well rounded artists. Sello’s fascination with site specific work and the creation of living installations is fuelled by a keen eye and analysis of ordinary situations.

Humphrey Maleka was born and raised in Soweto, Johannesburg. He started dancing at a young age learning Pantsula and other township dance forms and in 1991 was introduced to Afro-fusion and Contemporary dance styles. In 2006 he was accepted into the Ntsoana training and development programme after which he became a member of the company. As a company member of Ntsoana he has performed in, and participated in, all of Ntsoana’s projects, performed at the Dance Umbrella, Arts Alive Festival, Jomba Contemporary Dance Experience, The National Arts Festival and has toured to Mozambique, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Turkey, Tunisia and the United States. Humphrey is interested in socio-political matters which affect people on a daily basis regardless of their race, culture, sexuality, class, religion, political affiliation etc. His intention is to bring these matters to the fore so that they can stimulate conversations and discussions amongst people in the hope that they will come up with solutions to our societal challenges.

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