Faustin Linyekula is a dancer, choreographer and director who lives and works in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo. He grew up and studied literature and theatre in Kisangani, and lived for a time in Nairobi, Kenya. He set up Studios Kabako in Kisangani in June 2001, a dance and physical theatre organization designed as a place for interaction, research and creation. With his company, Linyekula has created over fifteen productions that have been performed on major stages and at major festivals in Europe, Africa and North and South America.
Linyekula has also designed performances for museums, such as in New York at MOMA in 2012 and the Metropolitan Museum in 2017. His collaborations include a production for the Comédie Française (Bérénice, 2009), a show for the Ballet de Lorraine (La Création du monde 1923-2012) and a solo for a dancer from the CNB – Ballet National du Portugal (2016). He performed with Raimund Hoghe, who designed the duo Sans-Titre (2009) for him. Linyekula regularly teaches in Africa, in the United States and in Europe.
In 2007 he was awarded the Grand Prix by the Prince Claus Foundation for culture and development. In 2016, Linyekula was associate artist for the City of Lisbon and was awarded the city’s medal of cultural merit, and in 2014, Linyekula and Studios Kabako were awarded first prize by the CurryStone Foundation in the US for the work carried out in Kisangani.
Since 2006, Linyekula has worked in the town of Kisangani where Studios Kabako support, train, produce and distribute young Congolese performing artists, videomakers and musicians, while working on the creation of a community cultural centre in Lubunga, one of the city’s six districts.