Lilian Maximillian Nabaggala is a female interdisciplinary artist based in Uganda working in the fields of dance, choreography, fashion, and education. Her identity as a choreographer is based on her strong skills in and passion for four distinct areas of dance: street, Ugandan traditional, contemporary, and Latin. She is part of different grass root organizations and projects; amongst others, she is co-founder of Afrooted (USA & UGA) as well as co-creator, committee member, and festival organizer of Batalo East (UGA). Lilian has been a resident dance artist at Art Omi (US) and guest artist and lecturer at the University of Maryland Washington DC (US).
During her fellowship, Lilian will cooperate with France based, Kenyan American, choreographer Wanjiru Kamuyu. Lilian’s interest is drawn to Kamuyu’s approaches to dance-making, which entails an ecosystem of unearthing un-heard, under-heard, ignored, rarely told, and untold stories of marginalized communities. Coupled with Lilian’s ongoing quest to fuse her knowledge of and expertise in a diverse palette of dance genres, a cooperation with Kamuyu, will afford her an immersive period to shake up, deepen and expand her points of entry. In turn, enriching her choreographic voice and unique aesthetic.
In France, in the context of the fellowship, Lilian will be shadowing Kamuyu in a range of choreographic and creative movement workshops. Additionally, she will sit in on rehearsals at the Centre National de la Danse (Pantin) and observe Kamuyu as she tours her work, “An Immigrant’s Story” and that of Okwui Okpokwasili’s “Bronx Gothic." The fellowship will culminate with Lilian attending the Fari Foni Waati Laboratory and Festival in Bamako, Mali. As an invited choreographer, Kamuyu will create a new group work in which Lilian will assist and perform.
„Lilian’s experience and knowledge of street dance and Ugandan traditional dances intersects with her interest in experimentation. She is willing to step forth and take risks.
This fellowship is an opportunity for two East African artists to create a valuable bridge of solidarity and collaboration. Lilian has chosen to work with Wanjiru Kamuyu because her works activate the audience to go beyond clichés by provoking and generating individual and collective reflection through the transformative celebration of dance. This exchange will serve as a catalyst in the expansion and deepening of Lilian’s artistic identity both on and off stage. Being in mentorship with a fellow female choreographer from Africa, will undoubtedyl be of great benefit 'as there are still very few of us'."
- Jury Statement