This essay delves into the materialities of infection through an exploration of two dance/theatre works created by Congolese theatre artist and choreographer Faustin Linyekula and his company Studios Kabako: Dinozord: The Dialogue Series IIII (2006) and In Search of Dinozord (2012). The Dinozord series serves as a multifaceted homage to Linyekula's childhood friend and fellow artist Richard Kabako, an actor and writer who died from bubonic plague in 1994 as he sought to flee what was then called Zaire. Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes bubonic plague, is not explicitly named and yet its presence reverberates through the two performance texts. I borrow from the vocabularies of infectiology and epidemiology to analyze Linyekula's aesthetic and political strategies; specifically, I use the terms replication, secretion, and comorbidity to theorize how Dinozord indexes the insidiousness of slow and structural violence. Similar to how y. pestis saturates the human host's lymph nodes and bodily tissues, everyday violence infects the Dinozord stage. The essay also argues for an expansion of performance theory to account for the embeddedness of chronic, protracted ruination and damage alongside the spectacularity of direct, immediate violence.


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pp. 405-423
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