Cherkaoui, Sidi Larbi
A piece by Aurélien Bory for le Groupe acrobatique de Tanger (creation 2013)
Freely based on the figure of Sidi Ahmed Ou Moussa
Moroccan acrobats are called “the children of Sidi Ahmed Ou Moussa”. He was an eminent 16th century Sufi thinker, whose grave has become a pilgrimage shrine. He is regarded as the Patron Saint of Moroccan acrobatics. Initially, these acrobatics performances are not considered as being a part of the performing arts; they are closely related to Soufism, they emerged from ancient Berber ritual practices and they consist of circular and pyramidal stunts, in which I perceive both celestial and maternal representations.
In Sufism, an ontological quest, the concept of the path is essential. Azimut (Azimuth in English) derives from the Arabic As-samt (Sumūt in the plural), meaning “the paths”. Azimut is the term used in astronomy to describe the angle between the observer and the celestial bodies. With this meaning, the sky is summoned.
In the legend of Sidi Ahmed Ou Moussa, when the wise man reached the heavens, he looked back at Earth and men, and settled upon going back. Among others, his path led me to embrace the return motif as the core of the writing.
I liked the idea of the return to mother-earth, a return where birth and death are intermingled; by its very nature, a return used as the compass of life.
I like pondering these verses by T.S. Eliot:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started... “
Aurélien Bory, September 2013
Source: Cie 111
Conception, scenography and direction Aurélien Bory
With the artists of Groupe acrobatique de Tanger Mustapha Aït Ouarakmane, Mohammed Hammich, Amal Hammich, Yassine Srasi, Achraf Mohammed Châaban, Adel Châaban, Abdelaziz El Haddad, Samir Lâaroussi, Younes Yemlahi, Jamila Abdellaoui
and the singers Najib El Maïmouni Idrissi, Raïs Mohand
Chief of Groupe acrobatique de Tanger Younes Hammich
Director of Groupe acrobatique de Tanger Sanae El Kamouni
Lighting design Arno Veyrat
Original music Joan Cambon
Stage Mickaël Godbille, Tristan Baudoin or Thomas Dupeyron (in alternation)
Sound design Stéphane Ley
Sound manager Edouard Heneman
Light manager Olivier Dupré
Costumes Sylvie Marcucci with Clotilde Elne and Amélie Mistler
Research and adaptation Taïcir Fadel
Set construction Pierre Dequivre et l'atelier de la fiancée du pirate
Fly machinery Marc Bizet
Technical direction Arno Veyrat et Sylvie Ananos
Production, booking Florent Piraud and Alexandra Cahen (Grand Théâtre de Provence), Florence Meurisse and Christelle Lordonné (compagnie 111 - Aurélien Bory), Sanae El Kamouni and Marie Reculon (Scènes du Maroc)
Executive production Grand Théâtre de Provence [Aix-en-Provence]
Coproduction Grand Théâtre de Provence [Aix-en-Provence], Marseille-Provence 2013 - Capitale européenne de la culture, compagnie 111 - Aurélien Bory, Scènes du Maroc, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Le Grand T théâtre de Loire-Atlantique Nantes, Le Volcan scène nationale du Havre, CIRCa Auch Gers Midi-Pyrénées, Théâtre du Rond-Point Paris, Agora pôle national des arts du cirque Boulazac-Aquitaine, La Filature scène nationale de Mulhouse
With support from Conseil Général des Bouches-du-Rhône - Centre départemental de créations en résidence, Assami, Deloitte, Fondation Deloitte et Fondation BNP Paribas
With help of L'Usine scène conventionnée pour les arts dans l'espace public Tournefeuille Toulouse Métropole
Compagnie 111 - Aurélien Bory is under agreement with Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Direction Régionale Affaires Culturelles Midi-Pyrénées, Region Midi-Pyrénées and Ville de Toulouse, and benefits from the support from Conseil Général de Haute-Garonne
Compagnie 111 - Aurélien Bory benefits from the support from Fondation BNP Paribas for the development of its projects
Compagnie 111 - Aurélien Bory is associate artist of Le Grand T, Scène conventionnée Loire-Atlantique/Nantes
Scènes du Maroc benefits from the support from Fondation BNP Paribas and Fondation BMCI for the development of its projects benefits from the support from Institut Français of Morocco.
Upating: May 2014
Aurélien Bory was born in Colmar in 1972. His studies in physics in Strasbourg led him to the field of architectural acoustics. He then ended his scientific curriculum in 1995. He settled in Toulouse where he joined the creative studio at the Lido, the Circus Arts Centre. In 1998, he played in Theatre Tattoo's "L'Odyssée" directed by Mladen Materic. In 2000 he founded Compagnie 111 with actor Olivier Alenda. He then conceived and began the six-year-long space trilogy project, in collaboration with Phil Soltanoff, including "IJK", "Plan B" and "Plus ou moins l'infini" (More or less, Infinity).
In 2003 he directed Pierre Rigal in his first solo creation Erection, the stem of their ungoing collaboration, which also originated their second work together: Arrêts de Jeu premiered in 2006. Merging various other fields, he created "Taoub" in 2004 in Tangier with twelve moroccan acrobats, this very show will launch the international career of the Groupe acrobatique de Tanger (Tangier Acrobatic Group). In 2008 Aurélien was the recipient of the "Créateur sans frontières" (Creator without borders)/ Radio France trophy for his international creations, notably "Les sept planches de la ruse" (The seven boards of skill) created in China in 2007 with performers from Dalian. In 2008 and 2009, he conceived two creations: "Questcequetudeviens?", a portrait of a woman, and "Sans Objet", a piece for an industrial robot. His creations include different artistic fields : theatre, circus, dance, visual arts, music... His genre-crossing approach is inscribed within the question of space and is explored through his distinctive scenography. In 2016, he created "ESPÆCE" based on the French writer Georges Perec 's work, at the Festival d'Avignon (France).
Source: Company 111 's website ; Plan Bey 's press file
Artistic direction : Sanae El Kamouni
The Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger was set up by Sanae El Kamouni in 2003 in order to assemble a troupe of traditional Moroccan acrobats with a view to creating a contemporary circus show. The group now tours worldwide. In Morocco there is an age-old acrobatics discipline where artists always reproduce the same figures, with no creative latitude. El Kamouni shook up this tradition and injected fresh impetus. Having met Aurélien Bory (Compagnie 111), they travelled Morocco in search of acrobats, and met the Hammich family of acrobats in Tangiers. This encounter yielded "Taoub" (2004), which toured for six years in more than 20 countries. The group cultivates a unique art, stemming from the Amazigh tradition of Sidi Ahmed Ou Moussa which dates from the 16th century. This discipline, which involves forming human pyramids, has military roots; it was used for the scaling of defensive walls; it also includes circular figures such as the “Arab wheel”. This ancestral expertise is now being renewed as it cross-fertilises with Western choreography. The acrobats continued along their path, and in 2010 invited Martin Zimmermann and Dimitri de Perrot (stage directors and circus artists) to create "Chouf Ouchouf", a journey through a labyrinthine covered bazaar, courtesy of an ingenious set design. These top-flight artists settled in Toulouse in 2010. Aurélien Bory renewed their colla-boration in 2013, creating "Azimut". In 2016, Abdeliazide Senhadji (Compagnie XY) is teaming with the group to create their latest work.
Source: 17e Biennale danse (2016) - press file
Cherkaoui, Sidi Larbi
Zimmermann & de Perrot
Compagnie James Carlès Danse & Co