Sirens (2016)

In loping, roiling movements that fell somewhere between big cat and disco diva.This gets a laugh from the audience – another one. But, during Sirens, the second piece and the highlight of the evening, the quality of the laughter has been pitched between amused, delighted, and nervous. It has depended on our responses to Ishimwa’s gloriously confident and uncompromising seduction – and this was definitely a seduction. ThePlace- Ka Bradley (2016) 

 

Ishimwa is a rare and precious talent. A courageous performer prepared to play a high risk strategy. Inventive, daring and precocious. Ishimwa confidently delivers spoken text with impactful timing and as the sequences unravelled it became clear that the narrative intention was his personal struggle with fear, described by him as a divorce (with fear now dating ego!). ThePlace- Graham Watts (2016)

 

Niyizi (2015)

Tall, graceful and exact in his movements, Rwandan-born artist Ishimwa’s physical presence echoes the economy with which this work is presented, during a performance rooted in duality. A frumpy, respectable dress is shed to reveal gold beaded epaulettes on a glamorous frock set off by orange shorts. A monologue in Portuguese argot is set off with Islamic exclamations. A projection of the artist smiling coyly at the audience is superimposed onto another of him crying. He quotes Martin Luther King while sitting on a toilet and, with his head thrust into his trousers, laments the state of his balls. I’ve never seen so many cornerstones of black cultural life so thoroughly undermined in such a short time. Real Time Arts, Australia- Oshununwi (2015)

 

Muhimanyi was born in Rwanda where, 20 years ago as a small child, he saw his mother being killed. His impressionistic piece Niyizi is named after her, but he doesn’t use this crucial autobiographical angle to bid for sympathy. Instead, via spoken word (topics include religion and sexuality), live and recorded vocals (he’s a fine singer) and spare film imagery (he only really show his face on camera) he’s examining his own identity. He’s a strong, vivid mover, too, especially when dancing to mainly nature-based sound effects. This original and touching work might lack clarity and universality, but it confirms his status as a young artist of promise. Sunday Telegraph by Florence Waters (2015)

 

Let’s Walk (2014)

A pretty decent evening ended quite brightly with Ishimwa Muhimanyi’s entertaining Let’s Walk. A Rambert school graduate of Rwandan extraction, he spent the entire piece positioned at a mike facing upstage while decked out in trainers, shorts and a powdered ginger Afro. Luckily Muhimanyi’s a witty talker and fine vocalist with, I sense, a sensibility steeped in ironic pop chic and camp poetry. Featuring a game and dead-pan supporting cast of six, the work over-all was a cabaret-like carousel of ideas. Few coalesced, but the experience of keeping track of them was such smart fun that I was sorry when the show stopped. More, please. The Times by Donald Hutera (2014)