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(2020-2021)

A visual voyage in time that paints the tensed stories of the Black bodies resisting slavery and seeking connection with the ancestral wisdom. [Re]member by Byb Chanel Bibene/Kiandanda Dance Theater connects Black bodies via their shared history, fight for liberties, and against slavery.

The work investigates the stories of the resistance and victories of captured Africans in the slave ships and the plantations during the Trans-Atlantic trade and slavery in the Americas, with a particular focus on the prowess of Nganga Nzumbi, a maroon leader who set free an entire community.

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(2018)

When war struck the Congo in 1997 my family and I fled Brazzaville to escape the chaos of the coup d’etat. Kidnapped at one point, I thought they would shoot me from behind when let go, like so many others. Finally rejoining my parents and siblings, we had a terrible choice to make: either walk nearly 500 miles to get to Pointe-Noire or try to find a place on a train already overcrowded with thousands of people

Taboo and Heroes is multi-media work that addresses the reality and consequences of violence and corruption through the specific experience of the war that overtook the Republic of Congo in the late 1990’s. In this piece, the choreographer Byb Chanel Bibene narrates his personal experiences, as a survival, in which hope was the inner motto.

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(2011-2012)

There is a time in the choreographer's career where they feel stuck and uninspired. What happens next? This piece emerged from that place. The choreographer and the dances took the risk to explore various choreographic pathways and movement patterns to break out from the past. The idea is to explore movement with a renewed breath and depart from the bodily movement habits. 

The project is also an emotional transition for which we discover ourselves as for the first time, like looking into the mirror. 

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(2019)

There is a time in the choreographer's career where they feel stuck and uninspired. What happens next? This piece emerged from that place. The choreographer and the dances took the risk to explore various choreographic pathways and movement patterns to break out from the past. The idea is to explore movement with a renewed breath and depart from the bodily movement habits. 

The project is also an emotional transition for which we discover ourselves as for the first time, like looking into the mirror. 

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(2016)

In the 21st century it maybe be quite a task to define cultural identity. The history of the people has been so much corrupted by migrations, colonization, and the influences of the Western dominant culture. What part in us or our culture that is authentic to the land of the ancestors? Dance culture does not escape that. 

In this piece, Byb Bibene attempts to draw a line between traditional and contemporary dance. What defines tradition and what defines  contemporary if both form are not a matter of their times. Cultures may respond to cycles of time. Do we form a tradition based on a certain cycle or not? Lobela Nga (Tell Me) is asking and invites everyone to ask for themselves.

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(2018)

Nkisi Nkondi project revisits the historical, divine and cultural facets of the Central Africa society of the 19th century. Through ceremonial and creative dance movements, ethnic chants, and original music, the project examines the values of justice, healing, sacred medicine, divine protection, human connection, and social harmony that the Nkisi Nkondi statues represented in that society.

The Nkisis were power figures used by individuals, families, or whole communities to destroy or weaken evil spirits, prevent or cure illnesses, repel bad deeds, solemnize contracts or oath taking, and resolve disputes. A diviner or holy person would activate the statue, using magical substances. 

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(2012)

"I became a Black person when I left Africa to America. Before, I was just a human being". This project questions racism in the Western societies and the tensed relationship between African descend people and the rest of world. Choreographer Byb Chanel Bibene narrates his personal stories as victim of racist acts in the places he's travelled to. 

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(2010)

"I became a Black person when I left Africa to America. Before, I was just a human being". This project questions racism in the Western societies and the tensed relationship between African descend people and the rest of world. Choreographer Byb Chanel Bibene narrates his personal stories as victim of racist acts in the places he's travelled to. 

The project also look into the racism in the countries that were once colonized and still face post colonial and institutionalized racism and the greed of the colonizers over mineral resources of African , South America, and the Middle East. 

Byb Bibene (Left) & Cherie Hill (Right).

(2019)

In the deep uproarious and callous waters of the Kongo river, they drowned and vanished and ever found because they tried to escape their refugee status. Their makeshift boat and bodies sank and disappeared into the void of the Mediterranean Sea. They braved crossing deserts for a better living space only to find demise. Waters, the life that turned into grave heroic women, men, and progenies. Humanity is sinking with million moving targets also called refugees and migrants. 

This project tacles the current issue of mass migrations and refugees in the world with an emphasis on migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Northern Africa to join the coasts of Europe. 

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(2015)

Project Bakoko Na Biso (Our Ancestors) dives into the codes of the land. In the Congo, each ethnic group has a culture of masks, statues and body painting. Each of these elements is a symbol. Symbol of power healing, bad deed, spiritual presence, community, happiness, or  misfortune. Also the symbol of opposition and complementary such light and dark, feminine and masculine energies.

This project look into the Congolese cultural of ancestral societal codes that helped gather people to build a Nation with respect to the codes of the land.  

 

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(2010)

Overseas is a collaborative project between dancer/choreographers Amara Tabor Smith and Byb Chanel Bibene. Through their first meeting, at the end of a dance class at ODC, San Francisco, Amara and Byb had a talk about origins, ancestors and how do we connect with them. Overseas is the outcome of this journey. Created in San Francisco, the piece performed in the Bay Area and in the Congo where Amara and Byb travelled to dance, teach, and (re)connect with the ancestral land.

The sound tracts were inspired by Aka pigmy music.

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(2017)

Mabele Oyo is a part of choreographer, Byb Bibene’s large project titled Nkisi Nkondi, a sacred and divine statue that set the bases of political, religious, and moral codes in the Kongo society in central Africa. In this sequel, the piece is a celebration of the culture of dance that has defied time by resisting colonization, Christianity, Islam and allowing the preservation of the Kongo people’s customs and traditions.

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(2011)

In this project, choreographer Byb Chanel Bibene takes the audience in the village life style of Mossendjo, a place where his father originated. After he visited, he experienced what it means to live in community, share meals, drinks, happy and challenging times. The village life style taught how the people come together to support each other and find joy in the simple things of life. As a teenager, I learned cultural children games, nursery rimes singing, and educational manners through tales and other local wisdom.   

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(2013)

Byb Chanel Bibene's Nzoto Installationis is an exploration of our everyday gestures transcribed into dance.  Inspired by the energy of Kitezo, a word that exists only in his native language, the work speaks to the simple presence of self in everyday life. Almost a phenomenological inquiry, the dancer is hailed to become conscious of each of the motion executed daily. The energy of kitezo define the state of consciousness and presence in the space.

Nzoto Installation performed at ODC Dance as part of the Pilot 58 program and at the MoAD (Museum of the African Diaspora).

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(2014)

Africa is often called the Motherland by its descendant. Africa is also the continent usually portrayed by the media in all negative aspects, from wars, famine, diseases, corruption, and lack of infrastructures and industrial development. That's a lot of negativity for a place contradictory that is the cradle of humanity, and hold the world reserves of natural resources and had the first great civilizations. Through this piece, choreographer Byb Bibene wants to dance the poetry and beauty of the Motherland and celebrate its marvelousness and the cultural wealth that exist no place else in the world. 

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(2018)

Moving targets solo project is prequel to the larger project titled 350+ Millions of Moving Targets. This piece is an emotional reaction to the causes of mass migrations of Africans to the rest of the world via the Mediterranean sea. The people leaving their lands to seek for peace else where while they could find the necessary means for the lives in Africa, because they are enough resources that suffer proper distribution. 

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(2012)

When war struck the Congo in 1997 my family and I fled Brazzaville to escape the chaos of the coup d’etat. Kidnapped at one point, I thought they would shoot me from behind when let go, like so many others. Finally rejoining my parents and siblings, we had a terrible choice to make: either walk nearly 500 miles to get to Pointe-Noire or try to find a place on a train already overcrowded with thousands of people

Taboo and Heroes is multi-media work that addresses the reality and consequences of violence and corruption through the specific experience of the war that overtook the Republic of Congo in the late 1990’s. In this piece, the choreographer Byb Chanel Bibene narrates his personal experiences, as a survival, in which hope was the inner motto.

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(2016)

PG-18 speaks of the behind the curtain matters that parents don't reveal to their children. It's an act of protection when parents go through a difficult time, socially or emotionally, they may still get concern about the well being of their progenies. 

The piece  paints in motion the many juggles parents go through to shape the future of a family with care. 

Perrformers Byb Bibene and Hope McManus performed the piece at the 8x8x8 Performance Series.

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(2011)

When war struck the Congo in 1997 my family and I fled Brazzaville to escape the chaos of the coup d’etat. Kidnapped at one point, I thought they would shoot me from behind when let go, like so many others. Finally rejoining my parents and siblings, we had a terrible choice to make: either walk nearly 500 miles to get to Pointe-Noire or try to find a place on a train already overcrowded with thousands of people

Taboo and Heroes is multi-media work that addresses the reality and consequences of violence and corruption through the specific experience of the war that overtook the Republic of Congo in the late 1990’s. In this piece, the choreographer Byb Chanel Bibene narrates his personal experiences, as a survival, in which hope was the inner motto.

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(2017)

How to believe in justice when the judicial system is corrupted? How to believe in peace when every time we claim it we get shut? How to be ourselves in a society that consistently tells you who and how to be? How do we sleep in peace and go by our way when the police are brutal and killing Black People without any accountability? Why I can't one be different because they were born that way? How can't one love the person of their choice without having to climb a mountain full of obstacles of all kinds? 

Project R.I.S.E (Revelation In Self Expression) tackles social justice issues pertaining our modern time and in the face of recent injustices towards Black and Brown People and LGBTQ populations.   

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(2017)

Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo, 1997. The end of the war has just been announced. The big part of the Congolese population that fled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, across the Congo River are now to return back home. Once they reach the port, a group of massively armed people welcome them. Then start a selection process. The militia separate families, men on one side and women on the other. That day, 350 people went missing.

350 project speaks of the situation of missing men who got drown while jailed in a shipping container. 

Performer Byb Bibene translate the emotions and honor the memory of the victims, whom he knew many.

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(2017)

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(2016-2017)

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(2017)

Collaborations and Guest Appearance

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A project by Joanna Haigood, Artistic Director of Zaccho Dance Theater.

Zaccho Dance Theatre and the Marcus Shelby Orchestra presented Dying While Black and Brown at Yoshi's in December of 2011. The work is a commentary on conditions inside prison, specifically focused on the lives of inmates who are on death row.