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Biennale de la danse en Afrique 2023
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Dance Biennial in Africa in Maputo from 20 to 26 November

After Luanda, Antananarivo, Paris, Tunis, Bamako, Johannesburg, Ouagadougou and Marrakech, the Dance Biennial in Africa is coming to Maputo in Mozambique from 20 to 26 November. This new edition, in partnership with the French Institute, will be directed by Quito Tembe, director of the Kinani dance festival. The theme of the event is "Beyond...", and it aims to be a real showcase for contemporary dance on the continent. 

Updated on 05/12/2023

2 min

The Institut français supports the structuring of the dance sector in Africa with two programmes in particular, the Dance Biennial in Africa  and the Résidanses programme. 


The Dance Biennial in Africa 

The Dance Biennial in Africa is a major event for consolidating the development and visibility of choreographic creation on the continent. Supported by the Institut français since its creation nearly 30 years ago, the originality of this event lies in its itinerant nature and its reliance on festivals run by cultural operators on the continent. A recognised platform for discovery and dissemination, the Biennial attracts dance professionals, programmers and journalists from all over the world. 


An artistic committee made up of choreographers and operators from across the continent 

The dynamics of the Dance Biennial are supported by an artistic committee made up of choreographers and key players in African dance: Hafiz Dhaou (Tunisia), Taoufik Izzediou (Morocco), Qudus Onikeku (Nigeria), Salia Sanou (Burkina Faso), Virginie Dupray (France), and Quito Tembe (Mozambique). 


The programme by Quito Tembe in Maputo 

Bold and committed, this new edition in Mozambique, from 20 to 26 November, aims to be a real showcase for contemporary dance in Africa, with a particular focus on dance from Eastern and Southern Africa. For six days, the city will be hosting a host of emerging African artists and choreographers, including seven young choreographers supported by the 'Résidanses' programme: Daouda Keita, Mohamed Lamqayassi, Kossivi Afiadegnigban, Mai Julie, Judith Olivia, Carolina Manuel and Rita Couto. This year's show will explore key issues, questioning gender expression, climate change, social change and racial discrimination. In addition to the choreographic works, the Biennial will be developing a platform for training, support for the emerging scene and meetings between artists and professionals. 


Accès Culture professional days 

Linked to the Biennial, an Accès Culture event will also be organised on Friday 24 November, in the form of Professional Days. Around twenty African and French operators with an interest in dance or the performing arts in general are invited to take part in the event. 

La Biennale de la danse en Afrique - Maputo
La Biennale de la danse en Afrique - Maputo

The Résidanses programme 

In order to support the emergence of a new generation of choreographers in Africa, the Institut français is offering the Résidanses choreographic project incubation programme during the inter-biennial years.

The aim of this scheme is to support emerging choreographers from the African continent in their creative process. It enables artists and companies to do residencies in Africa in order to develop new stages of creation under the mentorship and outside eye of established artists from the continent who have a place to work and create.

This choreographic incubation also makes it possible to propose new creations which, for the most accomplished, can be presented at the Dance Biennial in Africa of the same year.

This Résidanses programme has been set up by the Institut français in partnership with the Artistic Committee of the Dance Biennial in Africa : Hafiz Dhaou, Virginie Dupray, Taoufik Izzediou, Qudus Onikeku, Salia Sanou and Quito Tembe.

Since 2019, some thirty French, English-, Portuguese and Arabic speaking African laureates have been supported through this programme, including 13 projects by women choreographers, in 12 countries (South Africa; Benin; Burkina Faso; Comoros; Mali; Morocco; Mozambique; Nigeria; Democratic Republic of Congo; Senegal; Togo; Tunisia). The public had the first opportunity to discover some of these choreographic creations during the previous edition of the Biennial, which took place in Marrakech. In addition, other creations were shown at the On Marche festival, in Marrakech from 10 to 18 March 2023, and during the Carthage Danse festival, in Tunis from 10 to 17 June 2023. 

This year, during the Dance Biennial in Africa in Maputo, 7 young emerging choreographers will be presenting their new work, the fruit of the support they received from the Institut Français' "Résidanses" programme in 2021 and 2023. 

  • Daouda Keita (Mali), Ficksion
  • Mohamed Lamqayssi (Marocco), DIHYA
  • Kossivi Afiadegnigban (Togo), Vonvonli
  • Ma Juli (Mozambique), Sinas particulares
  • Judith Olivia / Carolina Manuel (Madagascar/Mozambique), Vertige
  • Rita Couto (Mozambique), Ovo e Gala
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