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Fatima Gate

A collaboration between contemporary and Oriental dance

Fatima Gate

A collaboration between contemporary and Oriental dance

Fatima Gate

Fatima Gate is the show born from the collaboration between Karine Ponties and Nathalie Elghoul, half-Lebanese half-Ecuadorian dancer and choreographer. 


Fatima Gate is the last Israeli check point at the border with Lebanon. With this show, my desire was to use the corporeal isolation typical of belly dancing as starting point for a choreographic research able to transform this traditional language into a universal and more dramatic language. - Nathalie Elghoul


It is time for inner borders to fall. - Marcel Moreau


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Ponties, Karine

Karine Ponties was born in France in 1967. She started training in dance at the Juan Tena and Ramon Soler dance schools in Barcelona, and then went on to graduate from Mudra, Maurice Bejart’s school in Brussels, in 1986.
As a performer, she worked with several companies, most notably with Frédéric Flamand, Michèle Noiret, Nicole Mossoux / Patrick Bonté and Pierre Droulers, in addition to founding Dame de Pic / Cie Karine Ponties in 1995. In 1996 the company premiered at Théâtre Le Public in Brussels with solo Planta Baja, and shortly thereafter Karine Ponties was selected for the 4th Edition of Les  Pépinières européennes for young artists.

In her over 20 years of choreographing for the company, she has created over forty pieces including commissions from the Helsinki  Theater Dance Department, Lod in Ghent, the D.C.M. Foundation in Bucharest, Montréal Danse, La Petite Fabrique in Paris, Transdance  Europe 03-06 and the Moscow Ballet. She was one of seven European choreographers selected to participate in the EU-Russian contemporary  dance project, Intradance (2010). In that context, she choreographed Mirliflor, which was awarded the 2011 Golden Mask (National Theatre Award in Russia) for the best contemporary dance performance. The attention  garnered around her work at this time later led to her collaboration  with the contemporary section of the Moscow Ballet for piece "Every  Direction is North", which was awarder the 2017 Golden Mask for best contemporary dance performance.

Ponties’ award-winning collaborations with visual artist Thierry Van Hasselt (Brutalis 2002, Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques [SACD] choreographic prize; and Holeulone, 2007 best dance performance at the French-speaking Belgian Critics' Awards) highlight  the company’s commitment to interdisciplinary exploration.

Other collaborations include composer Jan Kuijken and Lod (Les Taroupes 2000, Capture d’un caillot 2001, Brutalis 2002); composer Dominique Pauwels and Lod (Le Chant d’amour du grand singe 2005, Mi non Sabir 2004, Desirabilis 2004, Holeulone 2006, Boreas 2007), visual artist Lawrence Malstaf (Boreas 2007) and visual artist and illustrator Stefano Ricci (the Scarecrow Cycle 2008-2011, gathering babil, havran, Fidèle à l’éclair, Benedetto Pacifico and Humus vertebra).

She most recently collaborated with Czech dancer Tereza Ondrová (Best Czech Dancer 2014 and 2019) and theatre director Petra Tejnorová on duo Same Same, which was awarded the Special Jury Mention at the 2019 Czech Dance Platform.
Known for works with a flair for the absurd, exploring  intimacy and interlacing relationships, Ponties' choreographies have toured nationally and internationally, notably at the Festival de la Cité (Lausanne), Tanec Praha (Prague), Julidans Theatre Bellevue  (Amsterdam), Szene Festival (Salzburg), Dublin Fringe Festival, Centre  Culturel Wallonie-Bruxelles (Paris), Neuer Tanz Festival (Freiburg),  Dansstationen (Malmö), City Theater Reykjavik (Iceland), Plesni Theater (Ljubljana), Les Hivernales d’Avignon, Les Brigittines (Brussels), Agora  de la danse (Montreal), O Espaço do Tempo (Portugal), Pavillon Noir –  National Choreographic Center of Aix-en-Provence, One Yellow Rabbit  Festival (Calgary), Théâtre des Salins – Scène Nationale (Martigues),  Festival de Marseille (France), International Dance Festival of  Cochabamba (Bolivia), National Theatre of Korea (Seoul), National  Choreographic Center of Orléans, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Mimos  Festival (Périgueux), Uzès Danse, Kaaitheater (Brussels), Dance New  Amsterdam (New York), Festival de Otoño (Madrid), Dance Week Festival  (Zagreb), Vooruit (Ghent), Théâtre de la Cité (Paris). 

Elghoul, Nathalie

Dancer, choreographer and dance pedagogue. After studying at the Centre International de Danse Rossella Hightower in Cannes, France, she lived in Europe for over 15 years, where she worked as dancer and choreographer among various festivals in Belgium and Germany. Since 2010, she has been based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where she directs cultural center La Fàbrica, cuerpo-espacio, promoting contemporary dance and scenic arts in Ecuador. 

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LOD muziektheater

LOD muziektheater is a production organization for opera and musical theatre based in Ghent (Belgium). Committed towards a sustainable and solidarity-grounded artistic practice, they support long term collaborations with composers and stage directors, as well as with emerging talents, most notably in the context of the European Network of Opera Academies. 

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Fatima Gate

Artistic direction / Conception : Nathalie Elghoul

Choreography : Nathalie Elghoul et Karine Ponties

Interpretation : Nathalie Elghoul

Original music : Rik Verstrepen et Lode Vercampt

Live music : Lode Vercampt

Lights : Florence Richard

Sound : Alain Berthe (bruitages)

Other collaborations : Stef Cafmeyer et Pino Etz (technique)

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Une production Het Muziek Lod, avec le soutien du Kunstencentrum Vooruit et du STUK (Belgique)

Références de travail


  • The Oriental Body by Khatibi Abdelkebi
  • Sur la Frontière by Marcel Moreau
  • Le corps des peuples by Anne Varichon
  • Les danses dans le monde arabe under the direction of Djamila Henni-Chebra and Christian Poché
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