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© Jorge Camarotti
Theatre

M’appelle Mohamed Ali

Dieudonné Niangouna + Tatiana Zinga Botao +
Philippe Racine

At the edge of the stage, an African actor gets ready to play the great Muhammad Ali, American boxing icon and campaigner against racial segregation. In a stunning moment, their struggles intertwine. Hitting hard with the incisive words of the champion. Dazzling with the boxer’s legendary moves. Roaring the resistance of the black theatre actor in the West. And as the fighters box, they dance.

Driven by an actor’s passion, this political work by the Congolese Dieudonné Niangouna links Africa to America through the fists of Ali. The polyphonic piece, directed by Philippe Racine and Tatiana Zinga Botao, offers the recently founded Théâtre de La Sentinelle the opportunity to summon a chorus of voices to join in a shared fight. On an almost bare stage, there are not just one or two rolling with the punches, but eight magnificent actors and one actress—an allusion to the mother’s crucial presence. Nine performers of African descent affirm this oratorio for dignity. Respect. 

Credits
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About the artists

© Matthias Horn

Dieudonné Niangouna (Paris+Brazzaville)

A leading playwright in contemporary African theatre, the Congolese Dieudonné Niangouna, along with his brother Cris, founded the company Les bruits de la rue during the country’s civil war in 1997. In his hometown of Brazzaville, he also created the Mantsina sur Scène festival. 

 

Full biography
© Jorge Camarotti

Tatiana Zinga Botao (Montreal) Théâtre de La Sentinelle

Created in 2017 in Montreal, Théâtre de La Sentinelle seeks to diversify the cultural face of Quebec. Founded by Tatiana Zinga Botao and Lyndz Dantiste, with Philippe Racine joining them as artistic director, the company initiates projects that offer leading roles to actors from racialized and indigenous communities. The members of the Sentinelle, all three of whom studied at the Conservatoire d’art dramatique in Montreal, wish to stimulate discussion about issues of representation and develop a new generation of diverse talent.

Full biography
© Justin Laramee

Philippe Racine (Montreal) Théâtre de La Sentinelle

Philippe Racine’s remarkable versatility has led to his collaborating with a range of companies, including Théâtre Motus, Théâtre Le Clou, and L’eau du bain. He appeared in the French and Creole version of Macbeth directed by Stacey Christodoulou (The Other Theater, 2010 and 2016) and will be in the cast of Lysis at Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, which has been pushed back to 2024. 

Full biography

Interview

“How can I physically express the fight that I experience as a Black man in Quebec? The actor’s body, the citizen’s body, Ali’s body.”

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