Choreography by Mourad Merzouki
A choreographic extract remodelled by the group Teen-Eight (Créteil), responsible for the project Habib Benamar, as part of the “Danse en amateur et repertoire” programme (2014) (a programme created to assist and promote amateur dancing).
The Teen-Eight came into being in early 2013 within a recreational club belonging to the socio-educational network of Créteil. Its members first created a piece in their own name, presented on several occasions in the town. This was in connection with many partners in the region, including the Centre chorégraphique national directed by Mourad Merzouki. In 2014, they participated in a version of his work Récita, for one hundred and fifty amateurs, on the forecourt of the town hall. For the current revival, they rehearse two hours every fortnight with a direct collaborator of the choreographer, in addition to their own regular work. The project, which started with seventeen participants, has now stabilised to involve six teenagers aged thirteen to seventeen including, as yet a rare event in hip-hop, as many girls as boys.
Born in the suburbs of Lyon, Mourad Merzouki became a French leader of hip-hop, before whom theatre doors soon opened. First in tandem with Kader Attou, he went on to create his own company Käfig in 1996, and was named the director of the Centre chorégraphique national de Créteil in 2009, where he organised the Kalypso festival. His twenty-two works have been viewed in six hundred and fifty cities in sixty-one countries. Récital is a landmark along this journey. Created in 1998, this work plays on the symbolism of classical concerts, romanticising the hope, nursed at that time by urban dance artists, to perform on professional stages. Since 2014 Récital has experienced a new lease of life, with its revival for forty interpreters at the Biennale de Lyon, its transmission to dancers in India, and its treatment by Labanotation (for the first time ever in the history of hip-hop).
In the version of Récital with one hundred and fifty amateurs in 2014, the Teen-Eight performed only one tableau. They now work on four, under the watchful eye of Céline Tringali. Collaborating with Mourad Merzouki since 2005, she is specially charged with teaching and with dance practices for the Centre chorégraphique national de Créteil. She carefully followed the revival of Récital for forty dancers at the Biennale de Lyon last year. The adaptations of the work for the group of six dancers from the Teen-Eight consist of a few simplifications with respect to the technical level of the interpreters, and the focus is on the assimilation of figures, memorisation and mastery.