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Byb Chanel Bibene is a choreographer, dancer/theatre performer and writer from the Republic of Congo who began his performing career in theater in 1997. In 2002 he received a prize for new works of French literature in a competition sponsored by the French Cultural Center of Brazzaville. In 2003, with four of his friends and artistic director Julien Mabiala Bissila, Byb co-founded the Nguiri Nguiri Theater Company.

Continuing his performance development, in 2001, Byb began to practice modern dance. He spent time
working in Serge Bissadissi’s Bina-Ngoua company in Pointe-Noire. In Brazzaville, he trained in the chorographical research workshops directed by Orchy Nzaba and Boris Nganga at the Brazzaville French Cultural Center. In addition, Byb trained with several professional companies from France and Africa such as the Compagnie Paco Decina, the Compagnie Julie Dossavie, the hip-hop company Choream, the Salia nï Seydou company, and Reggie Wilson’s Fist and Heel Performance Group from New York.

In 2005 he participated in the opening and closing shows of the FESPAM music festival (Festival Pan-African de Musique), following a month long residence in traditional dance with the Traditional Drums and Dance Frititi group from London, England.

In 2006 he and his friends co-founded Companie Li-Sangha. They were subsequently invited to the African choreography gathering in Paris, where they won two laurels and 3rd Place in the competition, and the Radio France Internationale Dance Prize with their piece Mona Mambu.  In the following two years Li-Sangha toured throughout Europe, Africa and Asia.  Byb Chanel participated in Anatomie 2008, a collaborative project between Compangie Li-Sangha and the Theatre de Folle Pensee from Saint Brieuc, directed by author Roland Fichet in France. Also in 2008 he was artist-in-residence for three months at the CCND/BN (Centre Choregraphic National de Dance) of Caen, at Biarritz with the Ballet Biarritz, and at the Carre des Jalles Cultural Center of Saint-Medard-en-Jalles, Bordeaux, France.

Byb first came to the Bay Area in 2007 as a founding member of the above mentioned Li-Sangha ensemble.  In 2008 Byb Chanel Bibene relocated to San Francisco, California where he has plunged himself into the local dance scene.  Since transitioning to the Bay Area, Byb has performed with Rashad Pridgen’s dance company, MOTIF PERFORMANCE GROUP and has joined the dance company Paco Gomes and Dancers. He is the recipient of the CA$H Grant award and the Zellerbach Family Foundation Grant for his solo piece, Clinic, which will make its US debut at the San Francisco Arts Festival in May 2010.

Most recently, in 2009, Byb co-founded the dance company Studio Rue Dance and co-produced the Rue Dance Festival which took place in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo in April 2009.  The festival presented modern dance pieces in public locations in Brazzaville, bringing contemporary dance to a population that is largely unfamiliar with the form.  In April 2010, Studio Rue Dance will again present the festival in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
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