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Nya, the first piece of the Contemporary Ballet of Algiers is the result of a work in binomial, that established with Nawal Aït Benalla-Lagraa, within the framework of the Mediterranean Cultural Bridge. It is indeed through an intense formation (classic, contemporary and yoga), that she knew how to give to these young dancers stemming from the street, a physical freedom and an intellectual opening to be available on my choreographic writing and on the process of creation himself, in all her complexity and her difficulties.

Thanks to this artistic opening, carrier of hope, and to their expressed enthusiasm, Nya, Arabic word expressing the fact of relying on the life, appeared to me here as an evident title of sense. Indeed, in Algeria, from our early childhood, our parents pass on to us this word which is directly connected to the divine and which is an integral part of the vocabulary of every day. If somebody carries in him this Nya, he is necessarily going to transform all the sufferings of the life to help him to exist, to bloom and thus to open to the world. It is very there that this Mediterranean Cultural Bridge also takes all its sense. Because he offers to this current youth, the means to imagine, to create and to give to the public a more just vision of the fact that she is.

This creation consists of two different parts, each was bathed by two representative musics of the French and Algerian collective memory: the Bolero of Maurice Ravel and the Singings of Houria Aïchi. And two choreographic universes show themselves there. For the first one, my choice is to highlight the peculiarity of every dancer in a writing hip-hop. For second, my desire is to speak about their culture and about their identity, made by tradition and by modernity. And so dances and musics allow the journey between both banks of this Mediterranean Bridge. The mesmerizing voices of Houria Aïchi and the Bolero of Ravel in the oriental melodies wrap the bodies of the dancers to take them until the trance. 

Source : Abou Lagraa

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Lagraa, Abou

Born in Annonay, Abou Lagraa began dancing at the age of 16 before entering the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse, Lyon. He began his career as a dancer at the S.O.A.P. Dance Theatre, Frankfurt with Rui Horta and became his assistant on a project at the Calouste Gulbenkian Centre, Lisbon. He was soon noticed and went on to work with Robert Poole, Denis Plassard and Lionel Hoche. His qualities as a performer have been rewarded twice:  in 1998 by the 2nd Prize for performance at the Paris International Dance Competition, then in 2009 by the prize for Best Male Dancer, awarded by the International Movimentos Dance Prize. In 1997 he founded his own company, La Baraka.

Once again, recognition came quickly; numerous French venues programmed the young choreographer and he received proposals for collaboration. As a result, after 4 years as an associated artist at Bonlieu Scène Nationale in Annecy, since 2009 Abou Lagraa and his company have been hosted in production residency at Gémeaux Scène Nationale, Sceaux. The fame of the company spread rapidly beyond France's borders and tours followed one after the other, throughout Europe and also in the United States, Algeria, Tunisia and Indonesia… Alongside his work with the company, Abou Lagraa is regularly in demand by large organisations.

In 2001 he devised Fly, Fly for the CCN Ballet de Lorraine. This piece later was subsequently added to the repertoire of the ABC Dance Company of St Pölten in Austria.

In 2003 he devised a work for the second-year students of the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine, Angers, then in 2007 for the pupils of the Frankfurt Hochschule and the pupils of the Centre Méditerranéen de Danse Contemporaine, Tunis.

In 2006 his work entered the repertoire of the Paris Opéra Ballet with Le Souffle du Temps, a piece for 21 dancers, including 3 étoiles (Marie-Agnès Gillot, Manuel Legris, Wilfried Romoli). Then, in 2008, he composed Everyone's One at the invitation of Ballet Memphis (USA).

Since 2009, in association with the Algerian Ministry of Culture and th Algerian Agency for the Cultural Brilliance, he works, with Nawal Aït Benalla-Lagraa, in the elaboration of a “Mediterranean Cultural Bridge", the project of French-Algerian cooperation for the development of the dance and the artistic exchanges which will contain a program of Training and creation. In this frame, he sees confiding for July, 2009, the choreography of Closing ceremony of the 2nd Pan-African Festival of Algiers. In 2010, he creates the Ballet Contemporain d'Alger, under the Nawal Aït Benalla-Lagraa's educational responsibility, with a first piece NYA. The success of which ends in several national and international tours.

This piece was to be distinguished in 2011 when it was awarded the Grand Prix de la Critique as “Best Choreography of the Year”.

In 2016, he becomes the « Dream up » ambassador, an international arts-based education programme set up by the BNP Paribas foundation. This programme will help some 30,000 underprivileged or disabled children and teenagers to develop and find fulfilment by practising an artistic or creative activity. 

In 2016, he becomes “Chevalier des arts et des lettres” nominated by the French ministry of culture. 

Source : Cie La Baraka

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