Robert Ssempijja starts his solo with a story about the community in Kampala, Uganda, where he grew up and tells of the expectations of its members towards him. Every society tends to be particularly judgmental and close-minded towards those who step out of line. We are all constantly searching for our place in the world: we try to adapt, to understand our different roles and we struggle for acceptance. In a catwalk setup, dancer and choreographer Robert Ssempijja demonstrates the body’s ability to challenge social norms – and thus reveals the dance’s inherent potential for emancipation. At the same time, the piece contributes to distorting, disrupting and expanding the limits imposed by the disciplining gaze of others.
ROBERT SSEMPIJJA is a dance artist from Uganda. In his style he combines traditional dance with breakdance and contemporary dance techniques. His training includes techniques from Burkina Faso, and he is currently pursuing his dance diploma at the Ecolé des Sables in Senegal. Robert Ssempijja uses his dance knowledge for professional work, but is also an important protagonist of the growing contemporary dance scene in Uganda and founder of Dance Revolution East Africa. He works regularly with Christoph Winkler (Germany), Nora Chipaumire (New York/Simbabwe), Qudus Onikeku (Nigeria) and Patrick Acogny (France/Senegal).
CONCEPT, PERFORMANCE Robert Ssempijja MUSIK Abdoul Mujyambere (Ruanda), Öz Kaveller (Deutschland) KOSTÜM Karmelita Siwa (Benin) Dramaturgical advice Maciej Sado
A production of Ssempijja Robert in co-production with SOPHIENSÆLE. With the kind support of Company Christoph Winkler. The 30th edition of Tanztage Berlin is a production of SOPHIENSÆLE. Supported by the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. With the friendly support of Tanzfabrik Berlin e.V., Theaterhaus Berlin Mitte and Förderband e.V./Berliner Spielplan Audiodeskription. Media partner: taz. die tageszeitung