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Pepe 'Elmas' Naswa

In tune with his time, Pepe Elmas Naswa explores a fundamentally shifting choreographic universe in which contemporary dance and urban dance meet. Born in 1984 in Engbonda in the Democratic Republic of Congo, he encountered contemporary dance in 2007 in a show by Didier Ediho, a Congolese dancer and choreographer whose work represents a benchmark for him. He went on to train mainly by attending various workshops run by Faustin Linyekula, Hildegard De Vuyst, Ula Sickle and Serge Aimé Coulibaly. As a performer he works with Didier Ediho in particular. He established the group El-Urbaine – now called Pepenas – and conceived his first piece, 3 Faces, in 2013. Dans la peau de l’autre is his latest creation.

In 2020, his creation coproduced by Festival de Marseille and the Ballet national de Marseille, in which he questions his initimate memory of Kinshasa combining popular dance and afro-street from Kinshasa, was canceled because of the health crisis.