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Seeds (back to the land)

Carolyn Carlson Company 2017 - Director : Carolyn Carlson Company, Réalisation

Choreographer(s) : Carlson, Carolyn (France)

Present in collection(s): Carolyn Carlson Company

en fr

Seeds (back to the land)

Carolyn Carlson Company 2017 - Director : Carolyn Carlson Company, Réalisation

Choreographer(s) : Carlson, Carolyn (France)

Present in collection(s): Carolyn Carlson Company

en fr

Seeds (back to the land)

In 2006, Carolyn Carlson created her solo Double Vision in close partnership with the artist Yacine Aït Kaci. In this solo, the space was echoing the body, the stage was an immense projection screen, the gigantic costumes were the skin of an image in perpetual movement.

Today, Carolyn and Yacine (YAK) initiate a new creation, this time aimed at young audiences. Carolyn choreographs; Yacine animates ELYX, a small drawned figure placed in a real world in order to open our eyes on what is surrounding us, and transform reality with the only power of our imagination. 

Seeds is a joyful ode to Mother Earth, as much as a call to the future generations for a greater awareness of environmental urgency and the danger of daily extinctions of many living species. 

The performers imagine the world of tomorrow: a couple of Japanese dancers who are becoming aware of the danger; a third dancer, mirror image of Elyx on stage, questioning the audience both young and old alike, all coming from  a seed; and Elyx, who in a way is the fourth dancer, as a whistleblower angel. 

The title, Seeds, deals with themes such as birth, or rebirth, an ode to hope: seeds will be spread, virtually or physically, for the blooming of new ideas and desires, to celebrate life.


One seed planted

ten-thousand trees

dust, wind, and copper wings

scattering of the seeds


I pluck a petal from a flower

pin it to the wall

to remember how vast the Universe sings

born to seed and mystery


Carolyn Carlson

Carlson, Carolyn

California-born Carolyn Carlson defines herself first and foremost as a nomad. From San Francisco Bay to the University of Utah, from the Alwin Nikolais company in New York to Anne Béranger’s in France, from Paris Opera Ballet to Teatrodanza La Fenice in Venice, from the Théâtre de la Ville de Paris to Helsinki, from Ballet Cullberg to La Cartoucherie in Paris, from the Venice Biennale to Roubaix, Carlson is a tireless traveller, always seeking to develop and share her poetic universe.

She arrived in France in 1971 the beneficiary of Alwin Nikolais’s ideas about movement, composition and teaching. The following year, with Rituel pour un rêve mort, she wrote a poetic manifesto that defined an approach to her work that she has adhered to ever since: dance that is strongly oriented towards philosophy and spirituality. Carlson prefers the term ‘visual poetry’ to ‘choreography’ to describe her work. She creates works that express her poetic thoughts and a form of complete art within which movement occupies a special place. 

For four decades, Carlson has had significant influence and success in many European countries. She played a key role in the birth of French and Italian contemporary dance through the GRTOP (theatre research group) at Paris Opera Ballet and Teatrodanza at La Fenice.

She has created over 100 pieces, a large number of which are landmarks in the history of dance, including Density 21.5, The Year of the Horse, Blue Lady, Steppe, Maa, Signes, Writings on Water and Inanna. In 2006, her work was rewarded with the first ever Golden Lion given to a choreographer by the Venice Biennale.

Nowadays, Carolyn Carlson is director of two organisations: the Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson, an international centre for masterclasses, residencies and creating new works, which she founded in 1999 and the National Choreographic Centre Roubaix Nord-Pas de Calais until December 2013, which produces and tours shows all over the world.

More information:

Yacine Aït Kaci (YAK) – visual creator

Yacine AIT KACI, born in 1973, graduated from the Ecole Nationale des Arts décoratifs in Paris where he received a multidisciplinary education on multimedia. He signs, first as artistic director then as producer, a series of multimedia and television creations for the Centre Pompidou, the Louvre, Yves Saint-Laurent, and the TV program Archimède on ARTE.

 Yacine meets Naziha Mestaoui in 2000, and they decide to join their respective creative skills. Founded in Paris, Electronic Shadow is a hybrid multimedia and design platform whose activity is based on research and innovation, both in terms of art through numerous exhibitions (MoMA in NY, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, la Villette, Japan Media Art Festival, etc.), and technology (patented space/image projection system). The creation of Double Vision in 2006, born of the meeting with Carolyn and coproduced by IDEALID, enabled Electronic Shadow to explore a new artistic field and new perspectives of creation.

Aleksi Aubry-Carlson - composer

Aleksi Aubry-Carlson initiates to electric and acoustic guitar at age 11, with Ehat Musa among others. In 2002, he takes classes from David Lampel then Jean-Michel Bardez (Paris’ Conservatoires) in classical harmony until he gets his diploma. In parallel he perfects himself in improvisation, organ and follows an orchestration training with Henri-Claude Fantapié.

Composer above all, he has worked for United Colors of Benetton in Fabrica, their multimedia centre (Venice). He creates music for dance pieces for Carolyn Carlson, Alessandra Ferrarri and Alberto Casarotto. Since 2006, he regularly composes for internet medias, commercials, short films, animation films, mapping projections and video games. In 2015 he creates the music of an English full-length movie

Guillaume Bonneau – light designer

 Working since 1998 in the field of performing arts, he first works as a console operator and light manager in the fields of music performances and private events. He collaborates for bands as 13 à table, Marcel et son orchestre (French song), Birdy Nam Nam (electronic music), The Aikiu, Beatles Celebration (The Beatles’ tribute band), and more recently, Mat Bastard.

Guillaume starts to work with Carolyn Carlson in 2007, at first as a light manager on tour for the pieces Hidden, Inanna and Present Memory. Very soon the choreographer notices his sensitivity and poetry and asks him to design the lights of her “Short Stories” Immersion, Wind Woman, All that falls, Density 21.5 and Burning, then of her creation for young audiences, Seeds. He is also light assistant for Rémi Nicolas on the pieces Dialogue with Rothko and Crossroads to Synchronicity.

Since 2014, he is the Technical manager of Carolyn Carlson Company.

Sara Orselli - choreographic assistant

Sara Orselli starts her dance studies at Dance Gallery under the direction of Valentina Romito and Rita Petrone, then from 1999 to 2002 she studies at Isola Danza, the academy of Biennale de Venise then directed by Carolyn Carlson. She dances in Parabola, 1999, Light Bringers, 2000, J. Beuys Song 2001.

In 2003, she moves to Paris and becomes part of Juha Marsalo’s company in Prologue d’une Scène d’amour, Perle and Parfum. In parallel, she has been assisting Carolyn Carlson for years: Wash the Flowers in Luzern (2005), Les Rêves de Karabine Klaxon (2006), and more recently Woman in a room (2013) and Pneuma (2014) for the Bordeaux Opera.

Sara Orselli regularly dances in Carolyn Carlson’s pieces: Inanna, Water born, eau, Present Memory, Mundus Imaginalis, Mandala, we were horses, Synchronicity and Now.

Olivier Mulin – costume designer

Olivier Mulin starts his career in 1998 working for Jean Paul Gaultier and carries on as a free-lance designer (René Derhy, Kenzo Jean's, Sonia Rykiel, Missoni…). 

In 2005, his career branches off into styling for press magazines such as WAD, West-East, Modzik, Blend, Glint, OOB, Sport&Style and mostly Standard Magazine, of which he is now Fashion Editor in Chief.

Meanwhile, he participates also in the organization of prestige events (Samsung, Volcom, Marks&Spencer, Luxotica/Mikli, Swarovski…) and works on celebrities’ looks like Julia Faure and La Cantadora, or rock bands like The Dø, TwinTwin, YaltaClub or Ibeyi.

From 2006 to 2013, he works as Artistic Director for Paul&Joe menswear and on lookbooks for Paul&JoeSister and womenswear, Cache-Cache, Émile Lafaurie or Lucien Wang and collaborates with the young designer Arnaud Lazérat.

For the performing arts he designs the costumes of three pieces by the choreographer Juha  Marsalo, and in 2014, he takes part in the creation of «Haunted By Wars» by Eszter Salamon, in tandem with the artist Vava Dudu ; for the theatre, he works with Vincent Thomasset, Anne Rebeschini, Lucie Berelowitsch, and Nathalie Broizat.

Gilles Nicolas – prop master

Gilles Nicolas studies and practices engraving and lithography under the direction of the painter and engraver Mathéos Florakis in Berlin, then in Geneviève Couteau’s studio in Clisson. He takes part in several exhibitions in Paris’ Grand Palais, Nantes and Bruxelles. At the request of Dick Annegarn, he illustrates a dozen of his songs. 

He permanently uses sketching, drawing, painting and sculpting and specializes in conception and fabrication of « dioramas ». He also makes animal sculpture and bronze and participates in museum projects for example for the Centre Georges Pompidou (« L’univers de Borgès », « Ombre et lumière »), the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie and the national Natural History Museum of Paris. 

In 2006 he works for the first time with Carolyn Carlson on the piece for young audience « Les rêves de Karabine Klaxon » and since 2007 he teaches scenography in ENSATT school (National School of Arts and Techniques for Theatre).

Chinatsu Kosakatani - Dancer

 Of  Japanese origin, Chinatsu Kosakatani trains herself first in the  Yamamouchi Ballet School of Osaka and then in the Stedelijk Institut  voor Ballet in Anvers (Belgium). She works for the Oldenburgisches  Staatstheater (Germany), and at the Danza prospettiva di Vittorio Biagi  company in Rome. She dances for Maryse Delente, Jean-Claude Gallotta,  Itzik Galili, Ohad Naharin, Jean Guizerix, Rui Horta and Michel  Kelemenis after having joined the North Ballet in Roubaix in 1998.

Under  the direction of Carolyn Carlson, she dances in Inanna, Down by the  river, Full Moon, Water Born, Li, Hidden, Eau, Present memory, Mundus  Imaginalis and We were horses. In 2010, she creates her first piece  Ahimsa and, in 2011, Roubaix Choreographic National Center gives her the  creation of a choreography for a territory-based project called  dansewindows jazz. She is part of the program to support younger  talents, Red Brick #B, with a third choreography, Something like.

In 2013, she dances for Caterina Sagna in Bal en Chine, in 2014 she takes over a part in Olivier Dubois’s creation Revolution and  she creates with Clément Dazin (La Main de l’Homme Cy) the duet R2JE in  Avignon Festival. She dances also with hip-hop choreographer Brahim  Bouchelaghem in Tracks (since 2014) and Usure (2019) and with Akoma névé cy in Metamorphose (2018).

Ismaera Takeo Ishii - Dancer

Takeo  Ishii is native from Japan. Skillful and unclassifiable dancer aged 30,  his multiple experiences led him to master contemporary and contact  dance, modern jazz, butô, sabar as well as hip hop from his trips and  trainings in Senegal, the United States, Holland, Japan and France.

Settled  in France since 2012, he has collaborated with several French and  foreign artists: David Zambrano, Monika Gintersdorfer, Brahim  Bouchelaghem, Kadir Amigo Memis, Juha Marsalo... He was finalist for the  international dance competition Juste Debout in the category  "experimental" representing Japan (organised in Paris Bercy).

Alexis Ochin - Dancer

 Alexis  Ochin discovers the Jacques Lecoq movement at the international School  of Theater Lassâad in Brussels. He practices there dramatic mime, white  pantomime, and masked acting in commedia dell'arte and as a clown. In  parallel, he trains with dancers and choreographers Christina Crasto,  Thérèse Dutheil, A.T. De Keersmaeker, Peter Goss, and Carolyn Carlson.

He  works as a dancer, comedian, mime, puppeteer for the companies  Lafeuille d'automne, Chicos Mambo and Mano Labo. In 2011, he performs  and dances with Corinne and Gilles Benizio (aka Shirley et Dino) in the  burlesque ballet La belle dormant, accompanied by the philarmonic orchestra of Brussels. He also works as manipulator and comedian for the visual poetry act La statue à deux têtes by Jérôme Murat at the Lido de Paris.

In 2014, he is a performer for the Pietragalla-Derouault company in the creation Les Chaises?, a poetic-absurd duo inspired by Eugène Ionesco. Since autumn 2014, he has been dancing in Tutu at Théâtre Bobino.


Yacine Aït Kaci, aka YAK, created the figure of ELYX in 2011, a little drawned guy who casts a tender, funny, poetic and off-the-wall eye on reality.

Elyx travels around the world, safe and warm in a little booklet which opens once in a while on a moment, a situation. Using social networks as main media, Elyx has become a sort of digital personality, sharing the everyday life of his creator and community.  

Then he has become a virtual UN ambassador, accompanying most of the International Days and has produced an illustrated version of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Carolyn Carlson Company, Réalisation

 All of the footage from the Carolyn Carlson Company shows. 

Carolyn Carlson Company

Artistic Direction: Carolyn Carlson

Creation: 2014 

Recognised for her talents as a choreographer, Carolyn Carlson is equally a “group leader”, gathering around herself the personalities who nourish her poetic world. Her creations are the fruit of exchanges with performers which she chooses primarily for their distinctiveness and their capacity to commit to a composition process based on improvisation techniques. Today, the Carolyn Carlson Company consists of a group of dancers who come together in various combinations, depending on the work or project.

Dancers Constantine Baecher, Ismaera Takeo Ishii, Chinatsu Kosakatani, Juha Marsalo,  Celine Maufroid, Riccardo Meneghini, Isida Micani,  Yutaka Nakata, Alexis Ochin, Sara Orselli, Sara Simeoni

“The Carolyn Carlson Company is a hive of activity, an area of creativity and freedom in which intertwine gesture and poetic thought...”

January 2014: after nine years as director of the CCN de Roubaix Nord-Pas de Calais, Carolyn Carlson returns to Paris and funds her company, the Carolyn Carlson Company (CCCy), in residency at the Théâtre National de Chaillot from 2014 to 2016.

With a unique repertory and accompanied by dancers true to her poetical gesture, Carolyn pursues her creative process: each year, the Carolyn Carlson Company carries out at least two large scale projects, a creation and the transmission of repertoire pieces to the most prestigious international ballets, while continuing touring the choreographers’ creations worldwide.

More information :

Seeds [retour à la terre]

Artistic direction / Conception : Carolyn Carlson

Choreography : Carolyn Carlson

Choreography assistance : Sara Orselli

Interpretation : Elyx, Ismaera Takeo Ishii, Chinatsu Kosakatani, Alexis Ochin

Original music : Aleksi Aubry-Carlson

Video conception : Yacine Aït Kaci (YAK)

Lights : Guillaume Bonneau

Costumes : Olivier Mulin / Réalisation costumes : Fatima Azakkour / Ismaera porte un ensemble Arnaud Lazérat

Settings : Gilles Nicolas / Guillaume Bonneau et Jank Dage

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Production | Carolyn Carlson Company. Coproduction | Chaillot, Théâtre National de la danse ; CCN de Rillieux-la-Pape. En partenariat avec la Briqueterie / CDCN Val de Marne ; le CDCN-Atelier de Paris et le Studio 28 Roubaix/Cie Zahrbat, avec le soutien du Crédit du Nord

Duration : 50 minutes

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