Julidans: Umuko

Dorothée Munyaneza (RW)
Sun 7 Jul ’24 and Mon 8 Jul ’24
Dreaming of tomorrow's Rwanda without forgetting the horror
Sun 7 Jul ’24
Mon 8 Jul ’24

In Umuko, Dorothée Munyaneza listens to those who are making tomorrow's Rwanda: young people bubbling with creativity, daring, and zest for life. Exhilarating dance, poetry, song and music are mixed into an ancestral ritual to empower the new generation of Rwandan performers, grown up after the genocide. 

For her new creation Umuko, French-based dancer, choreographer and theatre maker Dorothée Munyaneza returned to her native Rwanda. In dialogue with young poets, dancers and musicians, all born after the genocide that tore the African country apart in 1994, she celebrates the creativity, daring and freedom of a new generation. How do the memories of a horrific past find a place in an hopeful future?

With a young, ultra-energetic cast, Munyaneza conjures up the 'umuko'. With its vermillion-red flowers, this tree lit up Munyaneza's childhood before she fled to Europe with her family. At the foot of the umuko, the protective tree of ancestral stories, full of solace and healing power, the group gathers and makes connections between what has been preserved, what is to come, and how to face evil.

Umuko is a flamboyant yet vulnerable exploration of the past and present. Dance, poetry, music and song are used as means to express love, solidarity and joy with the rebellious power of youth. Munyaneza: "This is the time to find the home tree and regain strength along the winding and rich paths of the creative process."


Multi-disciplinary artist Dorothée Munyaneza draws on the diversity of her Rwandan heritage for her work, but is above all driven by her hunger for exchange. Besides trendsetters from contemporary dance such as Robyn Orlin, Rachid Ouramdane and Maud Le Pladec, she collaborated with photographer Nan Goldin, fashion designer Stéphanie Coudert, and multi-instrumentalist and singer Ben LaMar Gay.


  • Duration: 80 min
  • Dutch premiere: Sun 7 July 20:30

artistic direction dorothée munyaneza with yvette fasha, akayezu jean patient, impakanizi, abdoul mujyambere, Michael Makembe light tbc sound management camille frachet costumes & music (in progress) production virginie dupray / cie kadidi coproduction (in progress) théâtre national de chaillot (confirmed), maison de la danse lyon - pôle européen de création (confirmed), PACT ZollVerein (confirmed), desingel (confirmed), Tanz im August (in discussion), Julidans (confirmed), Kaai Theater (in discussion) with support from institut français du Rwanda illustration maya mihindou