Serge Aimé Coulibaly – Rokia Traoré

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World premiere: 

29 June 2018 – Festival de Marseille (FR)

A performance for 9 dancers, 1 actor, 4 musicians, 2 singers and 40 local extras

the creation

“Kirina” – As the ultimate founding battle of the Mandingo Empire in Western Africa, this name evokes the type of ageless echo that Waterloo still imprints in the Western world. Anchored in the place where fiction and memory meet, Kirina tells the story of a people walking and fighting in the direction of its future, of its fate.

The world is undergoing change, our societies are in constant movement, populations change rapidly in large cities, the city is constantly in action and these transformations are part of a bigger movement, that of humanity. From this perspective Kirina follows a people in its moments of bravery and pride. Based on a book by the Senegalese writer Felwin Sarr, Kirina calls upon ancient Greek tragedies, as well as biblical and African myths. The stage becomes a theater of battles, celebrations, unions and sacrifices.

To find the right tonality that vibrates through minds and bodies across this timeless tale, the great musician Rokia Traoréand choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly imagined an ensemble of four instruments that stand on stage as singing and spoken voices complete them. A group of nine dancers personify the vocabulary of a raw, sensual and vulnerable body language, one that is torn between expressing one’s individuality or one’s pure need.

In the guise of a timeless tale, punctuated by the universal pagan symbolic of our origins, Kirina evokes the urgency and humanity inherent to migrations – as a universal and ancestral motion, as an uninterrupted gesture towards hope: a reunion.


Concept and direction
Serge Aimé Coulibaly

Composition and musical direction
Rokia Traoré

Sara Vanderieck

Choreographical assistant 
Sayouba Sigué

Felwine Sarr

Created and performed by
Marion Alzieu, Ida Faho, Jean-Robert Koudogbo, Antonia Naouele, Adonis Nebie, Ali ‘Doueslik’ Ouédraogo, Daisy Phillips, Issa Sanou, Sayouba Sigué, Ahmed Soura
Aly Keita/Youssouf Keita (balaphone), Saidou Ilboudo (percussions), Mohamed Kanté (bass), Yohann Le Ferrand (guitar), Naba Aminata Traoré & Marie Virginie Dembélé (singers)
& 40 local participants

Catherine Cosme

Salah Barka

Eve Martin

Light design
Nathalie Perrier

Light technician
Hermann Coulibaly

Video technician
Jérémy Vanoost

Sound technician
Ralph M’Fah-Traoré

Pre-production manager
Eline Vanfleteren

Production manager
Laure Louvat, Hanna el Fakir

Technical direction
Jan Mergaert

Artistic advice
Thomas Prédour

Coordination Faso Dans Théâtre
Lies Martens

Ruhrtriennale (DE), Festival de Marseille (FR), La Villette Paris (FR), les ballets C de la B (BE), Théâtre National Wallonnie-Bruxelles (BE), Romaeuropa Festival (IT), Kampnagel Hamburg (DE), De Grote Post Oostende (BE), Kunstencentrum Vooruit Gent (BE), La Rose des Vents Villeneuve d’Ascq (FR), ExtraPôle Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (FR)

Executive producer
les ballets C de la B (BE)

FransBrood Productions

Thanks to
Ankata (Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso), Fondation Passerelle (Bamako, Mali)

With the support of
Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles and Taxshelter Belgium