Committed to virtuosity and the hybridisation of genres, with Urban Ballet, Anthony Egéa offers us an urban dance that “combines hip-hop techniques and classical touches”. »
This urban ballet opens with the solo of one dancer, performing to Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater. The second tableau unites on stage a hip-hop corps de ballet: 9 interpreters on the floor, breaking down hip-hop movements to Ravel’s Boléro. A trio then enters the stage to a score by Iannis Xenakis.
In the last tableau, an ensemble of 10 dancers emerges to an orchestral composition by Franck II Louise.
“Hip-hop dancers are both curious and passionate. Always eager to learn, over the past twenty years they have tried, tested and incorporated all dance forms: contemporary, traditional Indian, flamenco...
Today, their target is classical dance, its codes, its vocabulary, its repertoire pieces. In recent years they have stated all they have in common with ballet: the same love for feats, virtuosity. Today they deliver the result, with pieces frankly inspired by the academic repertoire.
[...] Anthony Egéa’s Urban Ballet, a piece for 10 dancers, is the result of 15 years’ passion for classical dance that he discovered at a very young age, in the early 1990s, thanks to scholarships and the Cannes dance school.
5 years ago, he fulfilled his dream: that of opening a school, the two basic teachings of which are hip-hop and classical dance. Its first graduates are the Urban Ballet dancers. “I want to give a classical touch to hip-hop”, he explains.
I also try to invent hybrid gestures, by combining, for example, classical dance’s aerial movements with work on the floor. Compared with hip-hop’s solitary dance style, the corps de ballet is also a means of inventing a sharing of movement. United, Urban Ballet, to Ravel’s Boléro, takes up the challenge of the community. »
Rosita Boisseau, « Quand le hip hop et ses danseurs s’entichent de la danse classique », [“When hip-hop and its dancers become infatuated with classical dance”], Le Monde, January 12th, 2008.
Starting in 1984, Anthony Egéa embarked upon the long learning process of hip hop dance. Having gained awareness of numerous different techniques, he perfected his training at the Ecole Supérieure Rosella Hightower in Cannes thanks to a choreography scholarship from the French Ministry of Culture. He was also awarded the Lavoisier scholarship by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and trained at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in New York.
His work on the subject led naturally to a streamlining of his movement and the construction of more abstract forms, confronting the virtuoso with the miniscule, the demonstrative and the expressive.
His work arose from the context of an incensed humanity and the hip hop dance rebellion.
Since 1999, his choreographies have caused his style to evolve, bringing his own vocabulary into contact with other languages. Anthony Egéa has a desire to “reveal dance from the inside, deeper down, from our skin to our feelings”. He chooses paths for transformation over the course of his pieces and projects, to call movement into question by developing hybrid forms that distance themselves from conventions and expectations. From solos to group pieces, his work changes according to the people he meets.
Anthony Egéa places the body at the centre of his work, developing the energy and expressiveness of gestures, with creations like Tryptik (2000), Amazones (2003), and Soli (2005), where hip hop is revisited in a feminine way. In Urban Ballet (2008), the relationship between music and dance presented him with another objective: to mix urban dance with a classical score. This piece also received a Labanotation. With Clash (2009), two dancers engage in a bodily debate that challenges the notion of power, territory and borders.
In 2010 he wrote Tetris for the Ballet de l'Opéra National de Bordeaux and Middle, in 2011, for the Beijing Dance Theater.
In 2012, he choreographed Rage, a piece for six African dancers, offering a tracking shot of the contemporary Africa that so fascinates him. In it, he shows the vital rebellion, ardour and artistic hunger of dancers who offer, through their startling presence, a perspective of their continent.
In 2013, he embarked upon a new adventure, drawing inspiration from the world of the Wizard of Oz to develop a new piece aimed at a younger audience. This new reading of Oz led him towards new horizons where fairy tales, hip hop, gestural virtuosity and video collide.
Keen to pursue collaborations with dancers from other places, he joined up with the project Käfïg Brasil, a piece for eleven Brazilian dancers by Mourad Merzouki, to write one of its scenes.
Since 2002, in parallel to his artistic work, he has directed the Centre de Formation Professionnelle (Professional Training Centre) for hip hop dancers from the Rêvolution company.
Centre national de la danse, Réalisation
Since 2001, the National Center for Dance (CND) has been making recordings of its shows and educational programming and has created resources from these filmed performances (interviews, danced conferences, meetings with artists, demonstrations, major lessons, symposia specialized, thematic arrangements, etc.).
Choreography : Anthony EGÉA
Choreography assistance : Célia THOMAS
Interpretation : Dorine AGUILAR, Christopher CHIEFARE,Carole DAUVILLIER, Aurélien DESOBRY, Lenny FATTORE, Brice Jean MARIE, Jérôme LUCA, Laura LUCA, Caroline TEILLIER, Nicolas SANNIER
Set design : Florent BLANCHON
Lights : Florent BLANCHON
Costumes : Françoise CASTAING
Technical direction : Régie son : Jules BERBESSOU, Yvon TUTEIN Régie plateau : Julien COMPAGNON
Other collaborations : Maître de ballet Martial BOCKSTAELE
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Enregistré au CND le 20 juin 2008 dans le cadre du festival Danse HipHop Tanz
Duration : 60 minutes