Creative Movement Workshop with Papy Ebotani

SB12 Monthly Talks
Sharjah Institute for Theatrical Arts, 2015
Photo by Alfredo Rubio


SB12 artist Papy Ebotani gave a Creative Movement workshop on 9 March as part of the SB12 Monthly Talks. The workshop was open to participants with a background in dance, choreography or theatre arts. A dancer for over 15 years, Ebotani is an associate artist at Studios Kabako in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The workshop set out to explore the presence and placement of the body within space. The artist interacted closely with the 18 individual participants as he demonstrated his distinct techniques, movement and ways of expression.

For SB12, Ebotani performed Fanfare funérailles [Funeral brass] first on 6 March as part of the biennial’s Opening Programme and later on March 10. The performance was based on a text by young Congolese writer and choreographer Dorine Mokha. Ebotani led the gathered crowd along with Congolese rapper Shoggy Angoy, comedian Gaylor Yogolelo, sapeur Lesasa Jocker and local musicians on mizmar and drums and paraded through the streets. The first performance took place in the Arts and Heritage Areas, Al Mureijah, and the second at the Al Majaz Waterfront. In both performances, members of the local community joined the artists in the procession.

The performance explored a new type of funerary procession that has emerged in the urban centres of the Democratic Republic of Congo, revisiting the social function of funerals, their symbolic impact on communities and the ability of those living in big cities to invent and recycle practices in a place where people struggle to sustain themselves.

Papy Ebotani has worked with fellow SB12 artist and choreographer Faustin Linyekula since 2001. His performances include: Engundele, a quatuor (2009), Parlement debout (2007) and Na tempo (2004) which have been presented in Europe, Africa and the United States. Ebotani lives and works in Kisangani.