Chaos Elégant transports the audience to Cotonou (Benin’s economic capital) into the
daily life of young urban dancers who meet in the evening, on the asphalt of a busy avenue
or on the pavement of a public square to practice.
From improvisation, they summon out the principle of the « Trip all », a state of body
exploration which transforms the hazard, the unexpected and the obstacle into a creative
opportunity. Wether it’ll be a failure, an impediment, a car breakdown, a power failure, an
injury, an insult or hunger that may be felt ? Everything can be « recycled », sometimes just
in time, to provide the substance used to create the choregraphed component of the creative
work. With these different elements is then formulated with raw elegance the chaos
of an often harsh but never resigned existence. Each with their own experience, story and
dance style – Break, Flexing, Voguing, Krum… - that they bring into resonence with the traditionnal
and ceremonial dances of Benin – Zinli, Tchikoumé…, deploy their reaction force
and their fury of overcoming.
Chaos Elégant tells the story of the facetiousness, games and challenges of this collective
of young urban dancers. Encouraged by the live percussion, -a drum kit combining traditionnal
instruments with recycled objects-, the energy spreads to the limit of overflow. It is
the same energy that accompanies Egungun ceremonies, that is a cult in the the Benin- Nigeria
region in which ancestors come to the living and manifest themselves through dance.
Chaos Elégant therefore paints the portrait of Benin’s busting capital, with its emblematic
figures such as the gan houmito, the neighborood bandit who imposes his law but is
laughed at from behind, the choko, the show-off who pushes elegance to excess, and the
zemidjans (« take me quickly » in Fon) motorcycle cabs. The cabs are recognizable by their
yellow shirts, which appeared thirty years ago to compensate for the lack of public transport,
and whose existence -many of whom are university graduates – bears witness to the
development problems of the country.
Chaos Elegant also tells the moving story of choreographer Arouna Guindo who, dented by
life, managed to get out of the street, and out of an inner chaos through dancing.
Jaï Production, coproduction Institut Français du Bénin, Residence and sponsor: Le Centre – Lobozounkpa (September 2020 / January 2021).
Premiere at Institut Français du Bénin, Cotonou October the 9th, 2020 & January 22th 2021, and in
Parakou, December 10th 2020.
Dancer, choreographer and designer, Arouna Guindo is one of the figures of hip hop dance in Cotonou. As an enthusiast for martial arts, he practices capoera as well as break dance. As he became an orphan, he lived on the street for several years, which to this day remains a difficult period from which he managed to escape by devoting himself entirely to dance.
After winning several competitions and participating in the organization of hiphop festivals, he now teaches at the Multicorps
Choreographic Center in Cotonou.
In 2017, he obtained an artistic residency in Berlin where he created the solo Toguna.
In 2019, he imagined Chaos Elegant, an experimental hip hop creation platform that comes in different parts (#Atchan, # La Rature…) and in 2021 becomes a stage performance for 8 dancers and a percussionist.(Jaï production / Institut Français du Bénin).
As a performer, he produces himself in public spaces, in markets and at the crossroads of the main avenues of Cotonou, with 24 or 48 hours non-stop performances.
Dream-keys (DSK) gathers artists from Benin engaged in the fields of dance, music, plastic arts, performance, percussion, games and extreme sports. Structured as an NGO, Dream-Keys aims to develop and perpetuate urban culture in Benin. Its members design, organize and promote festivals, shows, tours, exhibitions, research, creations, forums etc.
In 2017, Dream-Keys took part in the Arouna Guindo' WATCHMEN#Game project, a mobile cultural mediation platform that offered dance performances and popular games in the form of various activities for children living in the street or cared by Orphanage
Initiated in 2019, The Dream-Keys STREET TOUR is an annual festival of urban dances designed for and in public space, intended to mobilize neighborhood communities around the enhancement of their space and their culture.
Symon Medagbe is a video director and dancer. He lives and works in Cotonou, Benin.
Jaï Production was born in 2019 from a yearning to promote and produce Benin dancers and choreographs who, despite nearly non means, strive to create and perform tenaciously, with inventiveness, a prodigious energy and an undeniable talent.
Chaos Elégant, by Beninese choreographer Arouna Guindo is our first production (2020-2021).
Jaï Production aims to continue its process of identifying dancers and choreographers from this area of Africa and to highlight the abundant and promising choreographic activity that is unfolding on the continent.
It is also about contributing to documenting, through research, creation and promotion of dance archives, the strengthening of the contemporary African choreographic field which has beeing going on for about ten years and in which Hip hop and urban dances occupy an significant place.
Choreography : Arouna Guindo
Interpretation : Jean-Paul Tohou, Horace Yehouenou, Loth Yehouenou, Mélaine Houngan, Hariel Dossou, Fernand Kitty, Giovanni Dehoué
Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Anne Décoret-Ahiha
Live music : Giovanni Dehoué (Percussion)
Video conception : Symon Medagbe
Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Jaï Production, Coproduction Institut Français du Bénin, Soutien et accueil en résidence : Le Centre (Lobozounkpa)
Production / Coproduction of the video work : Jaï Production
Duration : 58 mn
Reportage sur Le Tindjan
TV Reporting CGTN, (China Global Television Network) 2 December 2020
"Benin: Tvindjan : a mixture of traditional rhythm and hip-hop"
Interview with Arouna Guindo
“In Cotonou, Benin's capital, professional hip-hop dancers develop new mixed dances.Combining traditional rhythms and modern, Tindjan gives a mixture of sounds based on the local zinc. It is a breath of fresh air for traditional dances "
TV Reporting Africa 24, 27 Octobre 2020
" Tindjan, a mixed traditional rhythm and Hip-hop".
“Hip-hop urban music is brought up to date with traditional rhythms originally from Benin, mainly from the royal principality of Abomey referred to as the Zinli.It's through a mixture of traditional rhythm and urban music under the leadership of Arouna Guindo, professional dancer of the Hip-hop urban music in Cotonou »
Cotonou.com, 23 Octobre 2020
“Arouna Guindo, Professional dancer about the performance “ Tindjan ”:“This is a way for us to tell how we perform the zinli "