Spotlight Series: Award Winning Congolese dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula

Faustin Linyekula is an Award Winning Congolese dancer and choreographer of contemporary dance. Dubbed by Frieze magazine as “quite possibly the most important artist working on the African continent today”, he is also the founder of Kisangani-based collaborative arts platform Studios Kabako which he launched when he returned to Congo in 2001 after being abroad for eight years.

He studied literature and drama in Kisangani then moved to Nairobi in 1993 and in 1997 set up with Opiyo Okach and Afrah Tenambergen, the Gàara company, Kenya’s first contemporary dance company.

Mr. Linyekula grew up DRC’s third largest city, Kisangani and was introduced to dance-theater by a choreographer from the Ivory Coast. In his works, Faustin addresses the legacy of decades of war, terror, fear and the collapse of the economy for himself, his family and his friends. To date Faustin has created 15 pieces with the Studios Kabako that have toured worldwide in Europe, Africa and North-America.

In 2007, he received the principal award of the Prince Claus Fund and, in 2014 he won the Curry Stone Design Prize for his ongoing infrastructural interventions in Kisangani. Recognised as a leading African choreographer, Faustin Linyekula has also been a judge in the 2004 Rencontres Choreographiques Africaines in Madagascar and a facilitator for International Dialogues at the Kaay Fecc Festival in Senegal.

This month sees Faustin deliver the “Festival of Dreams” (at Roberto Clemente Plaza in the Bronx on Sept. 23 and at Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn on Sept. 24), debut a duet called “Banataba” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Saturday and Sunday) and present the United States premiere of “In Search of Dinozord” (at New York University’s Skirball Center, Sept. 22 and 23) with his company Studios Kabako.

To learn more about Faustin Linyekula’s work visit

Photo credit: Agathe Poupeney

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