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Nadine Baboy meets Sébastien Ministru!

Nadine Baboy meets Sébastien Ministru!

Désintrégration Culturelle

Sébastien Ministru (S): Désintrégration Culturelle. From what I understand, I have the impression that it is a huge back and forth very athletic in several cultures: culture of music, dance and body. Was that the original plan? This great mix?

Nadine Baboy (N): Exactly. Désintégration Culturelle is a journey. Artistic, multicultural. A journey where interbreeding is the common thread of the piece. I wanted to mix my different influences in relation to the chosen arts. We chose to mix poetry, dance, musical expression, …

Indeed, the dance styles are very varied. We start from hip-hop through flamenco to dancehall. I wanted something quite contemporary in the crossbreeding. There is also stepping. There are Krump influences but also dance clubbing (house dance, voguing, etc.).

Désintégration culturelle reflects my vision of art and my vision of culture. Something mixed, which travels and which is inspired by different influences in this journey that is life.

S: These are riches that add to riches.

N: Exactly.

“The show is always the same but the public can, each time, experience it as a new experience. »

An evolution

S: The show obviously has something alive and organic about it since it has evolved over the past few years. Does that mean that this show is still present in you, it continues to live? A working progress?

N: A so-called “finished” show is still evolving. To be alive is to move. Since the show is alive, it moves. So it evolves. Constantly.

There are still things I would like to finalize. I see the show as a series of puzzle pieces. And there, I think we are at the home stretch where the last piece of the puzzle allows us to present the picture I have always dreamed of.

S: So here we are close to your basic fantasy?

N: There are still a lot of things but here I can say that the piece is accomplished. Now, you should know that this show has never been played the same way twice. Yes, we have the same structure, the same common thread. The show is the same but we don’t do it in the same way. The experience is new each time.

A title

S: Of course, let’s talk about the title. It’s not just iconic. It is an initiatory scene of the show. When we read the title, even if we have not seen the show, it puts us in the ear. Because Désintégration culturelle obviously echoes its opposite, cultural integration. For you, Nadine and Hervé, is cultural and social integration something that pushes us to fall into line, to lower our voices and heads a little and to lose some of our initial wealth?

N: From what I’ve seen, to be accepted, you don’t have to do anything. You have to be able to blend in. Yes, doing a task is when you are too different, when you denote. We grew up in a society that didn’t teach us to embrace our differences. You have to hide them, hide them and erase them.

“Be careful, you have to speak French but you must not have an accent too foreign”

S: Yes, these are patterns of societal domination. If you want to be accepted, you must already be happy to be accepted and in addition you must not be noticed.

A ‘cliché’

S: You, Nadine, did you also have to give up your identity to fit in with the crowd?

N: Among the Belgians, in Europe, I am very quickly associated with my skin color. While among my pairs, I can be stuck with this “Bounty” label. It’s derogatory and it reflects the fact that I don’t fit into this cliché of the version of a Congolese woman that people can make of her. “Ah you do white stuff!” What does that mean ?

I have friends from different cultures, my best friends are Congolese. When are you really considered Congolese?

S: So we have to face and fight these stereotypes!

N: Of course. There are a thousand ways to be Congolese. I come from crossbreeding. I’m black so my crossbreeding can’t be seen on my skin. But he is real. We would never ask orange to be yellow, or red. We accept that it is orange. So the outcome of who I am comes from the mix of cultures I grew up in. I am a full identity. I like the term “Afropian” in which I connect.

“Nadine is a sunny person, someone who works only on generosity”

An identity

S: I spoke with a person who worked with you Nadine. She said :Nadine is a sunny person and someone who works only on generosity. Are you ok with these two qualifiers?

N: Yes. I realize that my heartbeat is to bless people with what I have received.

S: Bless?

N: Yes. I want people to receive through the gifts I have received. So if through dance I can convey joy, that’s ok. If through dance, I can inspire someone to reconnect with their artistic heart, that’s ok. I see myself as a tree. And a tree does not eat its fruit. If what I produce as a tree through my art can feed people, that’s ok. And that is what feeds me.

S: That is to say that you consider your art as something very maternal and sacred?

N: I hadn’t even thought of that.

S: Hervé, you know her well. Solar, generous, maternal, sacred.

Hervé Loka Sombo (H): These are indeed qualifiers that can be given to him. I would add that Nadine is honest and passionate. It works on passion and this very strongly joins the generous side.

The place of women

S: Have you noticed that in the worlds of slam, dance, theatre, .. it was more complicated for you because you are a woman? Are these circles sexist, in your opinion?

N: Compared to the slam, I did not feel any discrimination. In the slam, there is this openness that leaves room for speech regardless of gender. People are listening. In dance as such, not really. However, I had the opportunity to do a lot of casting in the commercial environment, especially for television. There we feel a difference between men and women. Male candidates are less than female candidates. In terms of competition between women, it’s huge. The visual aspect is highlighted in the selection conditions. I witnessed the hypersexualization of women as dancers. Especially in showbiz. The woman must be sexy.

S: Yes, it’s an environment where we are not yet sufficiently deconstructed. And you, Hervé, as a man, what is your opinion?

H: I think that in the dance world, there are more opportunities for women than for men simply because there are more women and naturally we grant more dance movement to a woman. I think there are more opportunities. Then, between women, it’s war. The competition is tough. I saw more competition than mutual aid between them.

I nevertheless issue a nuance: it would be a lie to claim that women really have an easier path than men. Not everything is so obvious. And finally, I agree with Nadine on the hypersexualization of the female body. And it’s complicated.

RDV these September 22, 23 and 24, 2022 at the Théâtre Varia for the performances of Désintégration Culturelle by Nadine Baboy.

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