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The Ogresse of the archives and her dog


The Ogresse of the archives and her dog


L'ogresse des archives et son chien


In this group piece, Christian and François Ben Aïm draw on and reinvent the fairy tale to help them investigate contemporary life.

Like escapees from classic fables, a variety of legendary characters invade the stage and coexist in this surreal fable. The fairy tale characters are updated so that they can become an extension of us all and of our inner reality.

Their excesses enable the choreographers to explore human emotions and probe the dark side of our human nature. Christian and François Ben Aïm thus explore the themes of fear, violence and power by examining how we all react to them. Often addressed in literature and fairy tales, these subjects are also recurring themes in the choreographers’ work.

The choreographers give rise to an unusual universe of strange beauty, where nothing is really what it seems.


Throughout the piece, the viewer oscillates between dream and reality. Reality is continually subverted and disrupted by the superimposition and surreal arrangement of the events represented. Different dimensions and proportions appear alongside each other: the infinitely small and very large, the multiplication of characters and unity.

The dancers embody this strangeness in choreographic roles that exude offbeat attitudes and behaviours. The moves are unstructured, engaged and naïve, sweet and deformed, with an uncertain rhythm, monstrous jerks and absurd dance steps.

The concept of metamorphosis, which is at the core of the piece, also drives this subversion. We witness various transformations, from princess to Little Red Riding Hood, from the Big Bad Wolf to the Sleeping Beauty, from the Ogre to Tom Thumb.

Through costume changes and soft, sensual movements, the male performers embody a succession of different female figures, playing with their ambiguities.


A cellist and percussionist share the stage with dancers and circus artists. Combining dance and music with the theme of fairy tales reinforces the poetic elements of the piece.

The music of the show is the second original création of Jean-Baptiste Sabiani for Christian and François Ben Aïm.

Ben Aïm, Christian & François

For more than twenty years, Christian and François BEN AÏM have been building a work rich of poetry and high standards, fraternal bond and singularity.

At the end of a multidisciplinary training combining dance, physical theater and circus, each one follows his path as a performer, then the two brothers meet to create À l’abri du regard des hommes, avant d’aller mourir ailleurs, a hybrid dance-theater piece which marks the beginning of their collaboration in 1997. Twenty pieces will follow which anchor their fieldwork as much as they travel internationally. They draw their inspiration from literary, musical and pictorial sources, and intimately mixing artistic disciplines on the stage : En plein coeur (2006), Valse (2010), The Ogresse on archives and her dog (2011), Lightness of Storms (2014), Burn, rebellious hearts (2017), Mirages — boreal souls (2018), Arise (2019), JESTS (2021).

Marked by an uncompromising energy, summoning the performer to an intimate relationship with movement, the dance of the BEN AÏM brothers offers, beyond a speech, an experience, a "crossing" that the dancer performs in front of our eyes, that he lives each time with the sincerity of a full and entire presence.

With this demanding writing comes an art of composition which gives birth to the stage an imagination borrowing from dreams, from the marvelous of the tale and from invisible realities. Through a subtle effect of empathy, the audience enters an unstable world, where everything is the object of poetic questioning - a world to be experienced together.


Calendar of creations





Snapshots - A series femal solos



Mirages — Boreal souls


Brûlent nos coeurs insoumis (Burn, rebellious hearts)


Peuplé, dépeuplé (Inhabited, uninhabited)


La légèreté des tempêtes


La forêt ébouriffée (The Dense Forest)

L'orée des visages



L'Ogresse des archives et son chien


Valse en trois temps

Résistance au droit



Amor fati fati amor


You're a bird, now!


En plein coeur


Carcasses, un oeil pour deux


Ne vous fiez pas au titre, il peut encore changer


Ô my brother !

La Frontera


Un homme en marche

L'enfant du miroir


L'homme rapaillé


A l'abri du regard des hommes, avant d'aller mourir ailleurs

L'Art en boîte

CFB 451

CFB 451

L'Ogresse des archives et son chien

Artistic direction / Conception : Christian et François Ben Aïm

Choreography : Christian et François Ben Aïm

Interpretation : Mélodie Gonzalez, Christian Ben Aïm, Paolo Locci, Grégoire Puren, Pierre- Emmanuel Sorignet, Gill Viandier, François Ben Aïm, Lili Gautier (violon- celle), Bruno Ferrier (voix et percussions)

Set design : Christian et François Ben Aïm

Original music : Jean-Baptiste Sabiani sauf La Passion selon Saint Matthieu de Jean-Sébastien Bach

Video conception : Mélusine Thiry

Lights : Laurent Patissier

Costumes : Dulcie Best

Technical direction : Luc Béril

Sound : François Galland

Other collaborations : Interprètes film Eva Defouloy-Mosoni, Jean Ben Aïm, Christian Ben Aïm

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