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Composer Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman calls her work Afrique Concrète: a hybrid form of Afro-European music theatre in which her roots in Rwanda, her background as a radio producer and her fascination for everything that makes sound, converge. Together with Silbersee, she now presents the intimate, performative installation Umva! Through headphones, the audience is immersed in a hybrid sound world, in which family stories, traditions and rituals, intergenerational and intercultural differences and similarities come to life.

Umva! is a portrait of Lierman’s 113-year-old (!) grandfather Kanyoni Ladislas. An absolute living legend, who during his long life as a traditional doctor and hunter saw Rwanda transformed through times of colonisation, independence struggles, genocides and post-war conflicts to the fragile stability that exists today.

Courtesy of: Municipality of Rotterdam, Gallop Taxshelter, Flemish Culture House, De Brakke Grond. This production came about with the support of the Belgian Federal Government’s Tax Shelter measure.


Concept & composition - Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman
Final direction - Keren Levi
Musical Dramaturgy - Yannis Kyriakides
Text - Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman (inspired by The Glorious Cow by Scholastique Mukasonga (ed. Gallimard))
Choreography - Aurélie Nyirabikali Lierman, Kaito Winse, Maya Felixbrodt, Soa Ratsifandrihana
Performers - Aurelie Nyirabikali Lierman, Gaetan La Mela, Kaito Winse, Maya Felixbrodt, Raphaela Danksagmüller, Soa Ratsifandrihana
Scenography - Jeroen Smith
Light design - Jeroen Smith & Niels Kingma
Set construction - Wim Becker
Production and audio technology - Maurits Thiel & Stefan Bos
Audio technical advice - Maurits Thiel & Wouter Snoei
Creative producer - Dominique Slegers & Jimmy-Pierre de Graaf
Co-producers - Concertgebouw Brugge, HermesEnsemble, Het Laatste Bedrijfs, Silbersee

Thanks to: Boris Bischoff, Denis Wouters, Gallop Taxshelter, Municipality of Rotterdam, Gil Gomes Leal, Inne Goris, Katía Truijen, Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond, Wim Becker.

This production was made possible with the support of the Tax Shelter measure of the Belgian Federal Government.

Special thanks to: Deutschland Radio (Marcus Gammel), Folco de Jong and Eelkje Christine Bosch, Sjaak Douma, GC De Kriekelaar (Leen Rossignol and Rosalie Kalanga Beya), Lierman's family and friends in Rwanda, New Grounds Rotterdam (Connor Whyte).