Episode 1: Wesley Ruzibiza

We launch the new season of Why Dance Matters with a vital figure in African contemporary dance. Wesley Ruzibiza discovered dance almost by accident – he was studying financial management at the University of Rwanda when he decided to sample a dance class. It set him on the path to becoming a choreographer and co-Artistic Director of the École des Sables in Senegal, one of the world’s most influential training organisations (their production of Pina Bausch’s Rite of Spring is an international sensation). Wesley grew up in turbulent times: Rwandan, he was raised in Kinshasa in Congo; the family was imprisoned for almost a year during the civil war. He recently created a festival around the idea of Tolerance – there’s no one better to ask about dance’s role in troubled times.

Read the transcript of the interview.

Wesley Ruzibiza is a dancer, choreographer and co-Artistic Director of the École des Sables in Senegal. He is also Associate Professor at the CPARC research centres in Bordeaux, National University of Rwanda and Muda Africa School of Dance in Tanzania. His productions have toured all over the world and he co-founded the award-winning Amizero Company, with the University of Rwanda’s Centre for the Arts, and created the international festival EANT in 2012, one of the first professional contemporary platforms in East Africa.

L’École des Sables https://ecoledessables.org/about-us/the-company

Rite of Spring on tour https://www.sadlerswells.com/on-tour/current-productions/pina-bausch-germaine-acogny-malou-airaudo-the-rite-of-spring-common-grounds/