October - December 2021 — Performing Arts
After almost a year’s delay due to the pandemic, Cameroonian dancer and choreographer Agathe Tamo Djokam will be in Geneva, Switzerland for the second phase of her residency. This follows a first phase in January 2020 in the context of the Africa, What’s Up? platform during the Antigel Festival.
In November and December 2021, Agathe will be an artist in residence in the studio of Compagnie Neopost Foofwa. During this time, Foofwa will offer an outside eye and coaching for her new creation A qui le tour? Agathe will also have the opportunity to involve Foofwa and the two resident dancer-collaborators, Alizée Sourbé and Alex Landa Aguirreche, to experiment and share her ideas.
Foofwa will also share with Agathe his pedagogical and creative approach, Being-here-present, a technique he has been using for more than a decade in his workshops and creations. Foofwa explains the technique: “Being-here-present is way to listen deeply to one’s own idiosyncrasies, particularities, realities, at each moment, and in a renewed way every day. This listening to one’s own body and being mutes aesthetics, forms, societal injunctions for a moment in order to feel a fresh sense of freedom, creativity, acceptance of the unique self, and therefore acceptance of the unique other. It has been at the base of the Dancewalk practice. It has been credited for its therapeutic power, and its capacity to influence dance-interpretational choices, artistic choices and even choices in the lives of people.”
The germination of this residency and collaboration began in 2019 when the artists first met in Bamako, Mali, in the context of the Fari Foni Waati Festival. Foofwa had been invited to work with local artists and Agathe was performing her solo Energie. Foofwa recalls, “I was enthusiastic about her strong presence, her physical and spiritual strength and the intensity of her need to express something to an audience. There was a sense of necessity for this energy to be unfurled.” They continued their conversation and planning in early 2020 when Agathe was in Geneva for the first phase of her residency at Antigel Festival, and remained in contact during the lockdowns due to the pandemic. Now after a long delay, the residency is taking place!
Agathe will begin her residency in October with a deep dive into motion capture. She has been invited to spend 5 days collaborating with Cie Gilles Jobin at Studios 44/Mocap Lab in Geneva to test out different motion capture equipment and potentially develop a virtual project. This collaboration comes about through Gilles meeting Agathe in Senegal. Gilles says, “I was very interested in Agathe’s movement and projects when we met her in Senegal – she has a unique energy. Agathe is part of this new generation of young urban African choreographers with a message, it is very interesting for us to follow this new generation from their beginnings to their creative adulthood.”
A QUI LE TOUR? SYNOPSIS
A qui le tour? is a solo dance piece created and performed by Agathe Djokam Tamo in three parts and inspired by her own story. It questions the body and mind of individuals facing the loss of a loved one. The work explores the different stages of mourning in a well-defined space and time. Shock, anger, depression, acceptance and rebirth. Emptiness, inner silence, the beautiful memories that come to transcend sorrows and pains. A body that tells, a public that lives, but above all decides a personal response to how, when, where, why …who’s next? Between light, images, narration, emotions, Agathe evokes and shares her feelings about this subject, both personal and universal.
The solo comprises a trinity of performances, each relating to a phase of grief: “On the Shock” which explores the body in a state of shock and anger; “Remember” which explores the state of the body in the face of the memories of beings who no longer live; And “On Depress” that explores the body in a state of depression, acceptance and rebirth. All these three performances being subject: Who’s next?
Born in 1990, Agathe Djokam has been interested in art since a young age. With a background in hip hop and break dancing, her work is highly physical and technical, as well as durational. As a dancer and choreographer, she has created and presented dance pieces at the Institut Français Cameroun, the Goethe Institut, as well as festival and on the street. Agathe is continually expanding her practice through training in acting, dramaturgical writing, staging and dance in Cameroon, in Senegal at the Ecole des Sables, and in France at the Menagerie de Verre and at the National Center of Music. She is the founder of the company Agathe Djokam and the association Corpo Symbiose. Agathe’s choreography is based on ongoing research into a technique called Djibi Badjep (Go and Return) which involves reflection on the body in a process of construction-deconstruction-reconstruction.