Robert Ssempijja dances
You Judge, 2022. Premiere of the performance during the Tanztage 2022 at the Sophiensaele in Berlin
Photo: Mayra Wallraff © Robert Ssempijja and Mayra Wallraff

Robert Ssempijja

  • Fellow 2022
  • Dancer and choreographer from Uganda
  • Cooperation partner: Serge Aimé Coulibaly

Robert Ssempijja
Serge Aimé Coulibaly

Robert Ssempijja is a Ugandan contemporary artist and dance researcher whose practice is marked by the era of post-colonialism and decolonization, Ssempijja's work is composed of research projects that reproduce into dance films, installations and performances. With the aim of creating an arena in East Africa for dance artists to meet and share their skills, he founded the organization Dance Revolution East Africa (UGA). As a dancer maker, he has been working with Uganda National Contemporary Ballet, Company Christoph Winkler (GER) and GRIPS Theater (GER).

For his fellowship, Robert will cooperate with internationally acclaimed dancer and choreographer Serge Aimé Coulibaly. Coulibaly's contemporary dance is inspired by his African culture and starts from feeling but also carries reflection and hope. Robert is interested in understanding Coulibaly's creation process and aiming at deepening, expanding and transforming his artistic perspective and practice through the experience of this cooperation. During his fellowship, Robert will follow Coulibaly in the creation process of his new production "C'est la Vie" for his company Faso Danse Théâtre (BFA).

„Robert is curious about the body as an archive of information which is activated by movement. He is searching for “a regenerative art practice” which moves away from exploitative relationships. Through dance he makes a bridge between the distorted past and the digital present. The fellowship brings him in contact with the parallel trajectory of Serge Aimé Coulibaly, an African role model who is choreographing in Belgium and Burkina Faso. It will be a valuable experience to follow Serge’s creative process of a new work. This time together will be a transformational journey to self-realisation for Robert’s personal creative development.
- Jury Statment