Experimental video, dance
Popular culture in the city of Kinshasa is rich and protean. It is born, grows and generally dies out. One of the strong manifestations, or one of the settings in which this nebula manifests itself or is staged, is funerals. During them, in Kinshasa, families mobilise and respect a set of codes established by the community. In this city, which is a melting pot of several of the country’s cultures, customary practices mix and give rise to an almost homogenous funeral vision that is typically Kinshasa. This video, in which the two dancers are staged to music with a funeral scene, relates the acts, stages and main lines of this ceremony; its variations, its importance, the solemn stages and the respect of established codes demonstrating how much the traditional, in this cosmopolitan megalopolis, and the modern have homogenised to create new ways of conceiving death. Places and moments of weeping and joy, reunions, disputes, love affairs, atmosphere, alcohol, ostentation, influences, influence peddling; funerals are here taken in an artistic approach, by these artists, highlighting them through the mixture of video art, contemporary dance, sound, etc.
Dedhel Bulamatadi was born in Kinshasa in 1994. As a dancer, she started her career with traditional Congolese dance styles. Over time, she moved into hip-hop, contemporary, popular Congolese dance styles like ndombolo and rumba. She developed her own style by mixing movements from different dance styles.
In 2013, she founded her group Just One. She was named best dancer at the Meyabe festival in Kinshasa in 2015. She acquired and perfected her universe after an experience in traditional dance via a professional internship at the Umoja ballet in 2017. She has participated in several street dance competitions and she also co-founded the group Flawless, the champion of the SIDANCE 2019 competition and the Universe Battle Dance competition. She currently dances in the group of the Congolese soukous singer Koffi Olomidé, who is considered a legend of Congolese music.