WESLEY RUZIBIZA (RWANDA), one of Rwanda’s leading dancers and choreographers, is a 2010 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab on Manda alum. Born in Congo in 1980, Wesley began studying contemporary dance in 2000, at the National University of Rwanda (NUR) where he was pursuing his bachelor’s degree in financial management. He trained in African contemporary dance techniques with Arts Azimuts, part of the University Centre for Arts & Drama.
His professional training continues both nationally and abroad, including through artists’ exchanges and Germaine Acoigny’s renowned Ecole des Sables in Dakar, Senegal. Appointed as head of Dance Department in 2002, he has given workshops on contemporary dance at the NUR University Centre for Arts & Drama and at various programs in Rwanda and abroad. Wesley’s choreographic pieces have been showcased for major cultural events, such as the opening of the PanAfrican Festival of Dance (FESPAD), Rwanda’s Heroes’ Day, Genocide Commemoration Day, and the Under 20 African Soccer Cup.
Wesley was selected for a choreographic training in Ouagadougou and Paris, which led to the creation of the first professional contemporary dance group in Rwanda, the Amizero Company, of which he is now the director. Amizero Kompagnie’s play Baho won the Silver Medal for Rwanda at the Sixth Annual Jeux de la Francophonie, Lebanon.
Wesley holds a B.A. in Dance in Traditional and Contemporary African Style from the well known Ecole de Sables. Wesley has also worked with an international multicultural project for children, The Longest Story in the World, touring in countries including Romania, The UK, and Bangladesh. He is one of 20 gifted young choreographers from Africa and the African-Diaspora selected for the European Union program Chrysalides held in Senegal, Kenya and Burkina Faso in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Works include: Des Espoirs, Ngwino Ubeho/La Pluie et Les Larmes, The Book of Life, Formatted, and Frontières.