Flying Under the Radar: Biennial of the Arts    Rio de Janeiro x San Francisco

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Curated by Flying Under The Radar and presented at the Red Poppy Art House as part of the December 5th 2015 MAPP: Mission Arts & Performance:

Project Beto Na Beto By Byb Chanel Bibene & Chris Babingui 7PM 2698 Folsom Street @ 23d, San Francisco

Bibene and Babingui meet to define contemporary African dance aesthetic. The piece is inspired by the Congolese dance culture of the Kongo people and by the ndombolo culture (pop music and pop dance). On one side, one prominent dance practiced is called Bakongo. This dance form reunites men and women in a circle. Men wear Mbokola (a form of skirt made of gunny sack fabric), and women wear Maputa (African fabric). They tease each other; they show each other how better dancers they are. They also seduce each other through erotic hips movements. This piece approaches the male perspective of the Bakongo dance. The Mbokolo attached to the hips becomes the core of the dancing, leading energetic movements of the limbs. On the other side, the ndombolo culture of dance and music has become a big influence in central and West African dance culture inspiring the soukouss and Coupe-Decale music and dance culture. The two dancers take these dance forms to another dimension; the dimension of the body’s sensibility to respond to the traditionalistic and modern dance meeting points. Joyous and dynamic; the dance alternate the abstraction and literal translation of these original African movements aesthetic.  

More about the MAPP Mission Arts Performance Project

Performers’ Biographies:

Chris Babingui
Chris was born in Enyelle in Congo. At the age of five, he learned the ndombolo and other traditional dances of Congo through the imitation of his elders. After completing his secondary education in 2006, Babingui started his artistic career dancing hip-hop as he joined the group, Boom Danger of Massamba Brunel (aka “Flash”). He has since worked and toured internationally in Africa and Europe after joining the Studio Maho, directed by choreographer Florent Mahoukou.

Byb Bibene
Bibene is a choreographer and performer working in theater and contemporary dance. His own technical and aesthetic sensibility is rooted in the culture and dances of his country of origin, the Republic of Congo. He has toured the world and performed internationally with companies and choreographers originating from Africa, England, France and the USA. Artistic Director of Kiandanda Dance Theater, Bibene launched Mbongui Square, a multidisciplinary arts event that gathers artists from the Bay Area and around the world. Outside of his professional careers of Theater and Dance, Bibene owns a Bachelor in Science, Economics/Finance and has a passion for writing. He is pursuing his MFA in Dance at Saint Mary's College of California. For more info, visit