“Dorothée Munyaneza “The body is an instrument” – An Interview with Arlette-Louise Ndakoze As multi disciplinary is the best way Dorothée Munyaneza can describe her stage performance, located in theater, music, dance and storytelling. Whatever the discipline, one theme remains with the Rwandese artist: confronting the trauma of the Genocide against the Tutsi. Arlette-Louise Ndakoze met Dorothée Munyaneza in June 2018, at her performance during the “Theaterformen Festival” in Branschweig, where she performed her piece “Samedi Détente”.
Brief Bio Notes:
Dorothée Munyaneza was 12 when the Rwandan genocide began, in April 1994, forcing her and her siblings to flee Kigali, where her father was a pastor. She was witness to horrific crimes; many of her friends, neighbors and their families were killed. But the Munyanezas were lucky. Their mother, already working for an N.G.O. in London, was able to get the family out of Rwanda in July of that year. By September, the children were with her and their father, and at school at the French lycée there.
In her new work, “Unwanted,” which opens at the Baryshnikov Arts Center on Thursday, Ms. Munyaneza — today a choreographer and musician living in France — presents the testimonies of women who were raped, and later had children, during the four months of devastating horror that saw almost a million people killed in Rwanda.
Ms. Munyaneza, 35, who collaborated on the “Hotel Rwanda” score and soundtrack, began to dance only after participating, as a singer and storyteller, in a work by the contemporary choreographer François Verret in 2006. Although she had no formal training, Mr. Verret asked her to dance in a later piece. She went on to work with Alain Buffard, Rachid Ouramdane and Robyn Orlin, developing a movement style that came out of the dancing she had done as a child in Rwanda.
“Unwanted” is the second work in which Ms. Munyaneza has taken the Rwandan genocide as her subject. (The first was “Samedi Détente,” in 2014.) In it, Ms. Munyaneza performs alongside the American singer Holland Andrews and the French electronic music composer Alain Mahé.