Due to delays in STUK's renovation works, this performance is moved to a new location: Manhattan, Kolonel Begaultlaan 21, 3012 Leuven. The dates and times stay the same. All tickets stay valid, ticket holders are contacted directly. More practical info on our spring 2023 programme can be found on this page.
Nkisi' has several meanings in Lingala, the mother tongue of Congolese dancer and choreographer Jolie Ngemi: medicine, remedy, witchcraft. It can refer to magical forces, to the wooden statuettes that carry them as well as to the brave Nkisi women who were engaged as secret advisors by the Congolese kings. Who are the Nkisi women of today and what worlds are they connected to? What does spirituality mean today? In a highly physical performance, Jolie Ngemi takes us on a trance-like trip between witchcraft and science fiction.
Jolie Ngemi (°1989, Kinshasa, DRC) lives in Switzerland and works throughout Europe. She first began to dance at the Protestant Church in Kinshasa. As a teenager she practised urban dances and took part in hip-hop dance battles in the streets of Kinshasa. In 2006 she worked with the Congolese choreographer Jacques Banayanga, who introduced her to contemporary dance. Through projects in Kinshasa organised by KVS - the Royal Flemish Theatre she met choreographers Thomas Steyaert and Ula Sickle. In 2011 Ula Sickle created the solo Jolie with her, that toured internationally. From 2013-2015 she studied at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels. Since then she has collaborated with Boris Charmatz, Serge Aimé Coulibaly and Ligia Lewis. Jolie is regularly invited as a guest teacher at international dance institutions. In 2021 she launched the festival BOSANGAN in Kinshasa.
Following Identity na ngayi in 2018, Nkisi will be her second creation. Her style of dance fuses Congolese dances from the streets and clubs with European traditions of dance. She describes her dance style as Chakamadesu A U C - Afro, Urban & Contemporary (chakamadesu is a Congolese stew, cooked in a variety of ways).