For this years edition of the festival, CONGOLISATION is giving free rein to krump dancer Hendrickx Ntela. She takes up this open invitation and will present her piece BLIND and 2 other new creations.
BLIND / Hendrickx Ntela & Pierre Dexter Belleka
« In a world where we think we are free, in which everything seems normal and where every gesture becomes fleeting, are we free to think for ourselves? »
From their exchanges around each other’s cultures, Hendrickx Ntela – a second-generation immigrant to Europe – and Pierre Dexter Belleka – exiled from a dictatorship – noticed the cyclical nature of History.
Born in Belgium and Liberia respectively, these two dancers/choreographers found each other in their love for krump culture. Krump, deeply rooted in spirituality, functions as an outlet for their emotions. The duo analyses the impact of political conflicts on communities. Their conclusion is clear: political discourse plays a primary role in the loss of critical thinking ability in humans. This formed the inspiration for BLIND, a creation that exposes the conscious and subconscious blindness of citizens, fed by a system that creates expectations that are impossible to fulfil.
Five dancers from Belgium, Spain, France, and Senegal, brought together by krump culture, are confronted within the same story, but in different places around the world. Each character, with their own back story, responds in their own way to the dominant discourse of the powers that be.
BLIND exposes the conscious and subconscious blindness of citizens, fed by a system that creates expectations that are impossible to fulfil. The expression of blindness forms the basis of this creation, and the movement language is the result of improvisations by the dancers inspired by this specific disability. It touches on the absence of choices we experience as individuals. Society is seen as a system that one cannot escape from. Freedom is an illusion. We each do our thing, in our own ways, like cogs in a controlled machine, one that we try to escape without holding the keys. The dancers rehearsed with blindfolds to sharpen their other senses, with touch as one of the key elements of the piece.
The choreographers try to represent various types of civil disobedience in response to these systems, each via their own culture and via their shared culture, krump. The performance by Hendrickx Ntela and her fellow performers feels like a nearly rediscovered freedom, a rebuttal against an obstructive society – of which Europe, which is often seen as a realm of freedom, is a reflection. For people from foreign origins, the barriers are plentiful and the decisionmakers are all-powerful. Who delivers visa and passports? Based on which criteria? Will they give us the right to freedom?