With this autobiographical play, writer and actress Tatiana Zenga Butao revisits her Congolese roots with intelligence and compassion by bringing together her personal history with the eventful history of the Republic of the Congo. A theatrical story presented in the style of the griots, those essential word bearers for imparting knowledge.
Leaving the playing field of the Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, arranged in the shape of a horseshoe, we couldn’t help but think about the stories of Mani Slimanelou – and his identity trilogy. a, two And three Which took us from Iran to Montreal via Paris, Toronto and Ottawa. Or even for chocolatewritten by Fara Thibault, a Haitian who was adopted by a Quebecois family, recounts the search for her biological mother.
Nzinga Inspired by the same introspective approach he aims to inscribe his family history into the great political and social history of the country of his birth. The result is impressive.
His starting point? Tatiana Zinga Butau has the same title as Queen Nzinga, a 17th-century African resistance figure.H Century against European colonizers – the Portuguese and Belgians in the case of the Congo. Throughout the show, she will multiply the similarities between her journey and that of this warrior queen, which she will go so far as to embody on stage. The woman who will inspire him with pride, courage and strength.
From where he came ? asks the Zaire-born actress, who grew up in Belgium before immigrating to Quebec at the age of 25, several times.
Authors Nzinga – Because Tatiana Zenga-Botau wrote this text with Marie-Louise Babych-Mombo and Alexis Diamond – It takes us back and forth between Montreal, Brussels and Kinshasa in different periods of history, a fun game of table tennis, but above all it allows us to consider the political turmoil experienced on both sides of the aisle. Atlantic Ocean.
Like many of the spectators in attendance—whom the actress calls out during the play—Tatiana Zenga Butau combines several identities. She will say: “We are the sum of all our transformations, but the Congo is in me.” “You can take everything from people, but not from their ancestors,” she adds in a clip in which she sings in her mother tongue.
The sober presentation of Albertine M. Itella He leaves plenty of room for his charismatic performer, whose words sometimes get lost. It was enough to accompany Tatiana Zenga Botau in her short movements and dances, in music and lighting. Which was done beautifully.
Yes, theater here is equivalent to this village square where we tell stories and impart knowledge. This Zinga from Mile End, the “queen of nowhere and everywhere at the same time,” is sure to touch you. Whether your roots here are deep or recent. The story she tells us, like that of Queen Nzinga, is universal and repeats itself. For better or for worse.
Written by Tatiana Zenga Butao, Marie-Louise Babysh Mumbo, and Alexis Diamond. With Tatiana Zenga Butau. Director: Albertine M. Etila
In today’s theateruntil November 25