Jolie Ngemi

NKISI

NKISI
NKISI

29.04.2023

Nkisi is a word in Lingala, the mother tongue of dancer and choreographer Jolie Ngemi. It can commonly mean ‘remedy’, ‘witchcraft’, ‘medicine’, or designate a sacred fetish. Today, Nkisi remains taboo in Africa, no one dares to speak of it.   

As a large part of the population lives in poverty, any success is questioned. It is said that the person who succeeds must have touched the Nkisi, used witchcraft and called upon mystical spirits. Jolie has herself, who is an example of success in Congo through her dancing career in Europe, been judged in this way: alleging that she is a witch who must have touched the Nkisi.   

Some women were also called Nkisi also before the colonization. These strong women were asked by the Mfumu kings of Congo to prevent misfortunes, epidemics and to carry out magic rituals to save the country. Nkisi aims to be a performance as a spaceship that transports the audience into a world of female superhero powers. A journey in which one abandons oneself totally as in a daydream where the physical and psychic worlds collide.  

Jolie Ngemi Reymond is a Congolese dancer, choreographer and musician who lives in Switzerland and works throughout Europe. Her influences range from dancing in the protestant church in Kinshasa and urban dance to P.A.R.T.S. She has collaborated with choreographers like Ula Sickle, Boris Charmatz and Serge Aimé Coulibaly. With her own company she creates her own work based on voice, text and body. 


choreography & performance Jolie Ngemi | dramaturge & choreographer assistant Jeremy Nedd | scenography Laura Knûsel | production Cie AUC, Gaëlle Marc