Daouda NGANGA
Dancer & choreographer

 

Daouda received a creation grant in partnership with the Atelier des Artistes en Exil.

What is your artistic background?
In 1989, on Berlioz Street in Brazzaville, the Fifi ballet company set up in front of my house. I was only six years old at the time, I was very young, but I was very attracted to what they did. Their classes were not free and I could not pay the price, so I exchanged cardboards and papers for them to warm their tamtams by the entrance. Later, at home, in secret, since it was frowned upon to dance, I tried to imitate their choreographies. I also danced with friends from school, with whom I made drums and had competitions. After the war, we moved to Pointe-Noire where I started working at a garage. I then discovered the Ballet Monana, I asked to dance with them and asked them to teach me the techniques of traditional and contemporary dance. From that moment on, I started working with musicians, other Afro-contemporary dance companies and other ballets, and then I decided to dance solo. Zala (trash can) is my first solo production, which I took with me during my travels in Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. During all these trips, I was mainly interested in learning the techniques of traditional dance in all these places. Then, from all these travels came Symbiose, a duet that links the traditions of Central and East Africa. In 2016, I arrived in France, and I developed another solo project, Corps en Transe, then Contre-Nature, a piece that was unfortunately delayed by Covid.

How do you see your profession today?
Dance, for me, is everything. I have the impression that it is not me who chose this profession, it is a practice that I carry within me, in my blood and that constitutes me. It is also a mystical act for me to dance, it heals me and is anchored in my spirituality.

How do you see yourself in five years? in 10 years?
In five, 10, 40 years or even more, I will dance better than I do now because it is something that can be learned. I will never stop dancing. On the other hand, one of my dreams is to open my own theater and residence center in Pointe-Noire.

This interview was conducted in 2021
Photography credit: Julia Grandperret