Nadine Baboy
Here is our little conversation with Nadine Baboy about her work. Professional dancer and very committed artist, she will perform her last artistic work, “Terre Riche“, at “Close Up” the 19th and 20th of May !

When did you start dancing ?

I always have some trouble to remember precisely when I started dancing because I have the impression that I dance right from the beginning. Otherwise, I took my first lessons when I was 7 years old, with one year of classical dancing, then I started modern dancing at 14 years old. At 17, I founded a Hip-Hop band with some friends with whom I did my first trainings in a Brussels station. We also participated in dance battles, choreography contests, and we also performed in some shows we previously prepared.

What are your influences? Are your parents coming from an artistic universe too and so influenced you as well?

My parents are not from the artistic world, but I always felt this desire to express myself artistically speaking. My little brother Henry Baboy is into music, he’s the lead singer of the band « MadMagus », a Rock’n Roll band from Brussels (Winners of the EMERGENZA competition here in Belgium).

Could you explain your work « Terre riche » and what it signifies for you?

« Terre Riche » is really my first work, it’s my baby. It’s my first piece of art in solo where I express my artistic universe which is a mixed one. It’s a solo performance that I wrote and staged myself mixing dance, poetry, and music about one topic which is very important to me.

« Terre Riche » is about the exploitation of primary mining ressources of the Democratic Republic of Congo and its collateral damages.

Are you just a dancer or do you have any other functions? What do you like about each one of them?

I am principally a dancer and a choreographer. Even if dancing is what I love the most, I consider myself as a multi-faceted artist who has more to offer. So “Terre Riche” gave me the occasion to practice poetry, singing, interpretation and comedy.

Writing is an other way for me to express myself artistically. Moreover, writing has some therapeutical proprieties. Using words to express my feelings or subjects I want to mention is a peaceful kind of liberty. Having the possibility to mix this with body language is just magical. Another one of my artistic facets is singing. First times I sang in public were during jam sessions with some friends of mine. There’s also this sensation of freedom when you can tune your voice on the music rhythm. The « Terre Riche » soundtrack includes original compositions specially recorded for the performance. I have collaborated with the composer and musician Youri Botterman who has also composed the songs of the new performance which will be performed at Close Up.

Comedy interests me a lot too. What I fancy about it is the possibility to play different characters and use real emotions to play a role. I had the occasion to start on TV as a comedian in the season 2 of the TV series « A tort ou à raison » playing Kimi Mokili, a rebellious teenager (episode 5&6). Lastly, I got involved in several projects about artistic creation which mix dancing and speech (Puzzle B, Women In Progress, A/free-can….)

Do you think that dancing and its universe are exposed enough here in Brussels? Anything that can be improved?

A lot of things can be improved regarding the importance of dancing in the European Capital, especially the urban one, which is still marginalized. But things start to move thanks to some local players such as Impulsion which is more than a simple dancing school where I’m teaching because they also coproduce my performance « Terre Riche » and have the will to promote the Hip-Hop culture and dancing. For several years, the Zinnema contributes to the evolution of the urban scene especially with some programs such as « 1000 Pieces Puzzle », an artistic development program for young dancers and choreographs, created and set up by Cindy Claes in collaboration with the Zinnema. I managed to develop my performance « Terre Riche » thanks to this program.

Nevertheless, Brussels and even Belgium still needs to considerate dancing better. The profession as dancer or artist is underrated. And not considered fairly. Artists are submitted to regulations which are not adapted to their way of life. Moreover, we should stop considering artists as the beggars of a system but as actors who are useful in our society.

What do you like the most about your job?

My job is truly a passion. As I said before, I’ve always felt this need to express myself artistically. Having the possibility to share my passion and pass on the delight it brings is a blessing. As an artist, I have things to say and I feel that I belong to the stage.

 Do you have a main message that you want to pass on through your projects ?

One of the messages I would like to pass on is the one to believe in his dreams and try hard to succeed. Do not let negative voices get you down. The path we choose to take doesn’t matter. What matters is doing things with faith, love, passion and a grateful heart.

The Democratic Republic of Congo seems to be very important for you artistically, could you tell us why?

I am an artist born in Congo, I grew up and built myself in Belgium. I have this double cultural identity where I feel myself simultaneously Congolese and Belgian. This issue of running after natural ressources speaks to me. And what touches me is the irresponsibility and the silence of the international community regarding the millions of Congolese people whom suffer for years. A true genocide is going on in Congo. Human rights are routinely violated, women and children get raped, assaulted and abused on a daily basis. Living in Occident, we tend to ignore what is happening in Africa. Speaking about it on stage is a way to reduce the emotional distance we can feel regarding people whom suffer the damages of this situation. Using Art is my contribution as a Belgian citizen born in Congo to raise awareness about this topic.

Do you have any plans for the future?

I have a lot of ideas for the future, and I’m focusing on the production of « Terre Riche » at the moment. I want that piece to travel around the world because the message that I’m sending through this work must cross borders and touch as many people as possible.

« Terre riche » has for objective to touch and raise awareness of a wider audience through Art. The theme of running after natural ressources and wealth is a general issue that we should consider more.

Feel free to check her Facebook for more information!

“Close Up” 

Friday 19th of May / 4pm-10pm / 5€

Saturday 20th of May / 2pm-10pm / 8€

Weekend pass / 10€

Musée Juif de Belgique / Joods Museum van Belgïe
Miniemenstraat 21, 1000 Brussel (Zavel/Sablon)

Click here for more information