Boxing's a form of dance anyway. I realized that as a teenager, when I got into hip-hop after years of doing martial arts. While one is identified with brutality and violence and the other with grace and pleasure, I found a touch of all these ingredients in each of them.
I'll be putting these contrasts to work in this new piece, because each aspect of boxing has an equivalent in choreography: the ring and the stage, the gong and the curtain going up, the referee and the eagle-eyed critics – for me there are all kinds of similarities.
Like martial arts, dance demands hard work, sweat, no effort spared; in both the «performer» commits himself and suffers the same encounter with the void in the form of his opponent or the audience. No weaknesses or flaws allowed – he has to satisfy the public. The further I go down my path as a choreographer, the clearer it is that you really have to show your mettle. When fame and recognition are no longer enough, only risk-taking – the face-off, the leap into the unknown, and ultimately your battle with yourself – will keep you going.So there's a mix – the excitement of combat and fear of the spectators: the gut fear of getting badly knocked about, of taking a licking, together with that great feeling of abandoning yourself, of achieving absolute fulfilment in that magic moment on stage or in the ring.
A major figure on the hip-hop scene since the early 1990s, Merzouki works at the crossroads of many different disciplines: he adds circus, martial arts, fine arts, video and live music to his exploration of hip-hop dance. Without losing sight of the roots of hip-hop movement – of its social and geographical origins – this multidisciplinary approach opens new horizons and reveals original outlooks. Since 1996, 30 creations have been performed in 700 cities and 65 countries, with more than 3,000 performances given for 1.7 million people. Since 2009, Merzouki is director of the Centre chorégraphique national de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne, where he created the festival Kalypso, a Parisian twin of his festival Karavel in the region of Lyon. In 2016, he is also appointed artistic director of Pôle en Scènes in Bron.
More information : http://ccncreteil.com/
Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq (1952-2012) entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (ELAC) and with the group « Frigo », and then in dance.
On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.
His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with Le Crawl de Lucien and co-directing with his films Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux and 10 anges. in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
- He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
- He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
- He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
- He oversaw the DVD publication of Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.
- He launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created Numeridanse.
His main documentaries are: enchaînement, Planète Bagouet, Montpellier le saut de l'ange, Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces, grand ecart, Mama africa, C'est pas facile, Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville, Le Défilé, Un rêve de cirque.
He has also produced theatre films: Song, Vu d'ici (Carolyn Carlson), Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux, 10 anges, Necesito and So schnell, (Dominique Bagouet), Im bade wannen, Flut and Wandelung (Susanne Linke), Le Cabaret Latin (Karine Saporta), La danse du temps (Régine Chopinot), Nuit Blanche (Abou Lagraa), Le Témoin (Claude Brumachon), Corps est graphique (Käfig), Seule et WMD (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), La Veillée des abysses (James Thiérrée), Agwa (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (Antonio Gades), Blue Lady revistied (Carolyn Carlson).
Source: Maison de la Danse de Lyon
Centre chorégraphique national de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne / Compagnie Käfig
Supported by the State and local authorities, the Centres chorégraphiques nationaux (CCN) promote the development of dance, both through the creative impulse of their directors-choreographers, but also by supporting choreographic artists of various styles, by presenting works and by raising public awareness of the art of dance.
Today there are 19 Centres chorégraphiques nationaux. The CCN de Créteil is one of the first to have been created, by Maguy Marin. Three of them are now run by hip-hop choreographers, in Créteil (Mourad Merzouki), La Rochelle (Kader Attou) and Rennes (FAIR-E collective).
Mourad Merzouki has been at the head of the Centre chorégraphique national de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne / Compagnie Käfig since 2009. He is developing an artistic project that is both open to the world and rooted in the territory, transcending aesthetic, cultural and social boundaries. Tours, workshops, residencies, the Kalypso festival : there are many opportunities to discover and celebrate hip-hop dance, an art form that has become, in over 30 years, a strong marker of the cultural identity of our heritage.
Artistic direction / Conception : Mourad Merzouki
Choreography : Mourad Merzouki
Interpretation : Rémi Autechaud dit RMS, Guillaume Chan Ton, Aurélien Desobry, Magali Duclos, Frédéric Lataste, Mourad Merzouki, David Rodrigues, Teddy Verardo, Steven Valade
Original music : AS'N
Live music : Quatuor Debussy
Video conception : Mohamed Athamna, Production 24 images, GIE Grand Ouest Télévision, La Biennale de la Danse de Lyon et la Maison de la Danse de Lyon et Arte Live Web
Lights : Yoann Tivoli assisté de Nicolas Faucheux et Julie Lola Lanteri-Cravet
Costumes : Emilie Carpentier assistée de Pierre-Yves Loup-Forest et Mathilde Boulay
Einstellungen : Benjamin Lebreton, Mourad Merzouki, Patrick Lerat, Camille Courier de Mere
Other collaborations : Avec le soutien du Quatuor Debussy et de Musique nouvelle en liberté, mages Maison de la Danse de Lyon – Biennale de la Danse de Lyon 2010
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Compagnie Käfig / CCN de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne, Coproduction Biennale de la danse de Lyon, Théâtre National de Chaillot, Maison des arts de Créteil, Espace Albert Camus de Bron
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