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Ô mon corps

At the National Theater of Algiers, Ô mon corps! (Ô my body!)  follows  the French choreographer Abou Lagraa, assisted by Nawal Ait  Benalla-Lagraa, his wife, working on the creation of a first Algerian  contemporary dance training. For the show Nya  ("Trusting Life"), rehearsals on stage, the ten dancers from hip-hop will gradually find the strength and energy to embody this "confidence" in front of the public.

Laurent Aït  Benalla records the way in which, throughout the preparation of the work, the choreographer and his wife demonstrate a highly demanding attitude from their dancers.


Source : Cie La Baraka


More information : https://www.aboulagraa.fr/ 

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


More information : https://www.aboulagraa.fr/ 

Ait Benalla Lagraa, Nawal

Artistic assistant and director of instruction of the Franco-­Algerian Mediterranean Cultural Bridge / Ballet Contemporain d’Alger

Born in Morocco of a Berber father and French mother, Nawal A.t Benalla Lagraa moved to France with her family when she was eight. She began ballet very young and completed her classical training, during which she tackled the repertoire’s great roles (Swan Lake, La Bayadère, Le Corsaire, Paquita , etc.). Before long, Nawal broadened her dancing and became interested in contemporary and jazz styles. She took part in productions with the Armstrong Jazz Ballet, where she had the opportunity to work with choreographers as contrasting as Wayne Barbaste and Géraldine Armstrong, Georges Momboye and Matt Mattox… An artist in the fullest sense, open to diverse forms of artistic expression, Nawal was soon approached by many other choreographers and directors. As a result, she has performed in Jacques Weber’s Cyrano de Bergerac at the Théâtre du Châtelet, in Yannis Kokkos’ The Trojans and at Opéra Bastille with Blanca Li… She has also taken part in numerous audiovisual events.

Passionately committed to exchanges and teaching, in 2005 she obtained her State Diploma as a dance teacher at the Centre National de la Danse, Pantin (Paris). She joined the La Baraka company in 2006 for Matri(k)is and became Abou Lagraa’s assistant for the Ballet Memphis (USA) commission in 2007. For the Lyon International Dance Biennial in 2008, Abou Lagraa devised the duet D'ʹEux Sens  for Nawal and himself. In 2009, she assisted Abou Lagraa for the Closing Ceremony of the Pan African Festival in Algiers. This was a revelation for her, and she decided to dedicate herself more fully to training young Algerian dancers, offering them professional status through an introduction to contemporary dance. In 2010, in addition to performing in "Un monde en soi" , a piece for seven dancers and the Debussy Quartet, she helped Abou Lagraa develop the Mediterranean Cultural Bridge project for which she took over the educational leadership. She continues to teach while NYA  is on tour, and shares her love of teaching in many workshops and masterclasses, particularly in France, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Russia, the USA... She assisted Abou Lagraa for his 2012 creation, Univers l'ʹAfrique , and helps the dancers of the Algiers Contemporary Ballet in their teaching mission to help a new generation of teacher/dancers bloom in Algeria.

Source: Site de la Compagnie La Baraka

More information

aboulagraa.fr

Ait Benalla, Laurent

Born in 1976, lives and works in Montpelier. Operator and photographer, he forms in the recording and turns a first documentary movie about chikhat, in Morocco, with Mohammed Atif, in 2003. He creates then SLAB, a structure of production within which he turns a portrait of the film-maker Marcel Hanoun and a short documentary between 2008 and 2009, and coproduces diverse projects.

In 2010, la Compagnie La Baraka commands him the realization of a short movie, turned in Algiers, on the preparation of Nya, Abou Lagraa: it looks On the Bridge (9 '). He intends to prolong this meeting with young Algerian contemporary dancers and la compagnie La Baraka by a movie, for the television or the cinema, which redraws this adventure.


Source : SLAB production


En savoir plus : www.slab-net.com

Ô mon corps

Choreography : Abou Lagraa

Choreography assistance : Nawal Aït Benalla-Lagraa

Interpretation : Compagnie Nationale d'Algers

Sound : Laurent Aït Benalla

Production / Coproduction of the video work : SLAB / Doha Film Institute, Fondation BNP Paribas, CR Languedoc-Roussillon

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