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Faustin Linyekula and Djodjo Kazadi in Festival of Lies at BRIC with Dance Theatre Workshop. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.^10 Festival of Lies at VSA Arts New Mexico/North Fourth Art Center (Albuquerque).^10 Djodjo Kazadi, Faustin Linyekula and Papy Ebotani in Festival of Lies at BRIC with Dance Theatre Workshop. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.^10 Faustin Linyekula/Les Studios Kabako in Festival of Lies^10

Faustin Linyekula/Studios Kabako

After taking audiences by storm with his 2005 debut North American tour of Triptyque sans titre, Linyekula returned to the U.S. in Fall 2007 with Festival of Lies. Festival of Lies deals with memory and the consequence of collective amnesia within a context of the political, social and economic realities of a turbulent and constantly changing nation. Recycling fragments of memory and propaganda, Linyekula reflects a generation that struggles collectively to simultaneously forget and unearth its history.

 

Presented as both an evening-length work and marathon six-hour event, Festival of Lies is dance and theater performance, visual installation and community event all in one. Amidst a festive party atmosphere in which local restaurants or community members prepare and serve food and drinks and a local band plays, Linyekula invites the audience to listen to stories (and lies). Intertwined with recorded speeches of momentous fictions propagated by leaders of a country often misled, are intimate stories of family history and personal experience. Within a shifting landscape of fluorescent lights, electrical cords, and urban detritus, the three male dancers and one female actor compete to tell their stories.

 

The Fall 2007 tour was produced by MAPP International Productions through the Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium, and presented at Philadelphia Live Arts Festival (Philadelphia, PA); REDCAT (Los Angeles, CA); Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA); Dance Theater Workshop (NYC); VSA Arts of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM); and On the Boards (Seattle, WA).

 

The 2007 presentations of Festival of Lies were funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from National Endowment for the Arts and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Ford Foundation.