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El Djoudour, the roots

El Djoudour, the roots

El Djoudour

Indeed, in 2008, on Nawal Ait Benalla-Lagraa's initiative, Abou Lagraa left to Algeria to try to find his roots, his past. As evidence the 2 artists decided to work on it, to commit themselves by creating "The French-Algerian Mediterranean Cultural Bridge" there.

Meeting the dancers of the Contemporary Ballet of Algiers, getting involved in working with them (the outcome being the creation of Nya in 2010 then Universe Africa – tribute to Nina Simone in 2012) rediscovering the daily life in a country where so much remains to be done, all this could not leave Abou Lagraa untouched. He is indeed so similar and yet so different. 

El Djoudour is the third creation with the Algerian dancers.

For this show, Abou Lagraa drew his inspiration from his Algerian roots. As a western dancer and choreographer, French, North African, he would like to focus this creation on his own perception of the body in Muslim culture (and not of the Muslim faith), a body marked by modesty and respect of privacy. 

Strongly marked by frustration with separation between men and women, Abou Lagraa shows in El Djoudour a range of relations between the two sexes, far from the usual clichés.

The show opens on an empty space, a public square (" El Fada " in Arabic) structured by metal racks that define the space of men and women. Lagraa shows the tensions from the frustration of not being able to share the same space, to touch each other. The bodies confront themselves, are free, the lines move, sensuality is revealed.

To guide his creative process, Abou Lagraa refers to two basic elements of oriental culture: water (instrument of purification and source of life) and earth (the one from which we come from, which feeds our roots). The dancers are as protected by land and water, wrapped in a symbolic garment that allows finally them to touch each other, preserving their modesty and their freedom.

This body language honours the original features of generosity, sharing and brotherhood of the oriental culture.

The dance in El Djoudour reveals the ambivalence between feminity and masculinity, it’s a dance of body states, a total commitment. 

The composer Olivier Innocenti's subtle music supports this idea of “no man’s land”. Algerian singer Houria Aïchi honors and refers to the sacred past. Contemporary music mixed sacred songs provides the link between narrative and abstraction, the organic and the spiritual, the past and the present. These collaborators joined Abou Lagraa’s never-ending quest which is as spiritual as it is artistic. He’s looking for poetry of human relationships.

El Djoudour comes from the choreographer’s roots, his personal history and his vision of Muslim culture while operating a syncretism with other horizons represented by fourteen dancers with different stories and personal experiences, from multiple ethnics origins (Algerians, Indians, French, Cameroon, Sweden, Comoros). This diversity of body proposes a new interpretation of the body in the oriental culture. 

El Djoudour is like a mirror in which we can look at ourselves to see and love others.


Source : Abou Lagraa


En savoir plus : www.aboulagraa.fr

Lagraa, Abou

Born in Annonay, Abou Lagraa began dancing at the age of 16 before entering the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse, Lyon. He began his career as a dancer at the S.O.A.P. Dance Theatre, Frankfurt with Rui Horta and became his assistant on a project at the Calouste Gulbenkian Centre, Lisbon. He was soon noticed and went on to work with Robert Poole, Denis Plassard and Lionel Hoche. His qualities as a performer have been rewarded twice:  in 1998 by the 2nd Prize for performance at the Paris International Dance Competition, then in 2009 by the prize for Best Male Dancer, awarded by the International Movimentos Dance Prize. In 1997 he founded his own company, La Baraka.


Once again, recognition came quickly; numerous French venues programmed the young choreographer and he received proposals for collaboration. As a result, after 4 years as an associated artist at Bonlieu Scène Nationale in Annecy, since 2009 Abou Lagraa and his company have been hosted in production residency at Gémeaux Scène Nationale, Sceaux. The fame of the company spread rapidly beyond France's borders and tours followed one after the other, throughout Europe and also in the United States, Algeria, Tunisia and Indonesia… Alongside his work with the company, Abou Lagraa is regularly in demand by large organisations.

In 2001 he devised Fly, Fly for the CCN Ballet de Lorraine. This piece later was subsequently added to the repertoire of the ABC Dance Company of St Pölten in Austria.


In 2003 he devised a work for the second-year students of the Centre National de Danse Contemporaine, Angers, then in 2007 for the pupils of the Frankfurt Hochschule and the pupils of the Centre Méditerranéen de Danse Contemporaine, Tunis.

In 2006 his work entered the repertoire of the Paris Opéra Ballet with Le Souffle du Temps, a piece for 21 dancers, including 3 étoiles (Marie-Agnès Gillot, Manuel Legris, Wilfried Romoli). Then, in 2008, he composed Everyone's One at the invitation of Ballet Memphis (USA).


Since 2009, in association with the Algerian Ministry of Culture and th Algerian Agency for the Cultural Brilliance, he works, with Nawal Aït Benalla-Lagraa, in the elaboration of a “Mediterranean Cultural Bridge", the project of French-Algerian cooperation for the development of the dance and the artistic exchanges which will contain a program of Training and creation. In this frame, he sees confiding for July, 2009, the choreography of Closing ceremony of the 2nd Pan-African Festival of Algiers. In 2010, he creates the Ballet Contemporain d'Alger, under the Nawal Aït Benalla-Lagraa's educational responsibility, with a first piece NYA. The success of which ends in several national and international tours.


This piece was to be distinguished in 2011 when it was awarded the Grand Prix de la Critique as “Best Choreography of the Year”.

In 2016, he becomes the « Dream up » ambassador, an international arts-based education programme set up by the BNP Paribas foundation. This programme will help some 30,000 underprivileged or disabled children and teenagers to develop and find fulfilment by practising an artistic or creative activity. 


In 2016, he becomes “Chevalier des arts et des lettres” nominated by the French ministry of culture. 


Source : Cie La Baraka


More information : https://www.aboulagraa.fr/ 

Compagnie La Baraka - Abou Lagraa

Choreographer and artistic direction - ABOU LAGRAA

An adventure of more than 10 years

The company La Baraka was born in 1997 on the initiative of Abou Lagraa. From its first creation in 1998, the company is programmed in the Biennial event of the Dance of Lyon. And the success is immediate. The creations are quickly linked and the supports multiply, among which the Théâtre National de Chaillot, the House of the dance of Lyon, the BNP Paribas foundation … Approved by a large majority by the public and the professionals, the company occurs on the biggest stages of France but also abroad, in particular in Germany, Italy, Algeria, the USA, the Eastern Europe, Asia … She has 13 pieces in the directory today, proposes a creation by season and realize on average 90 representations a year, in France and on the international stage.

 

The artistic creation, the work of ground

The Company La Baraka works thanks to artistic residences which allow to multiply the meetings, the experiences, the partnerships which develop loyalty over the years. From 2004 till 2007, Abou Lagraa was an artist associated with the National stage Bonlieu of Annecy. Since 2009 and until 2013, the company La Baraka is in production residency in Sceaux, at Les Gémeaux Scène Nationale. In parallel in the work of creation, the company develops an important work of raising sensitization in the choreographic art with the general public: meetings, workshops, training courses are given during the tours in colleges, high schools, universities, faculties of architecture, French Schools of Education, … Strong and popular initiatives were born as the organization of a Box of Dance to Bonlieu (combining 3000 persons) or the presentation of conferences danced to the Musée du Louvre. These actions translate the will of the company to open an intergenerational dialogue.

The creation of the Mediterranean Cultural Bridge and the Ballet Contemporain d'Alger

Artistic director Abou Lagraa, director of instruction Nawal Aït Benalla-Lagraa

In 2008, on the initiative of Nawal Aït Benalla-Lagraa, Abou Lagraa returns in Algeria to find its roots, its past and decides to put a lot there artistically. This return becomes a reality in  2009, while it sees confiding by Mrs Khalida Toumi, Algerian Minister of Culture, the choreography of Closing ceremony of the 2nd Pan-African Festival of Algiers in July, 2009. The Company La Baraka is afterward commissioned to develop the art of the dance in Algeria. Supported also by the Algerian Agency for the Cultural Brilliance, Abou Lagraa and Nawal Aït Benalla-Lagraa - Company La Baraka create the Mediterranean Cultural Bridge in 2010 conceived as a three-year program of algéro-French cooperation. The implementation of this project allowed the creation of the Contemporary Ballet of Algiers, with poles of formation and creation allowing to encourage the exchanges of choreographic works and to support the professionalization of the Algerian dancers... The initiative leans above all on the formation (ballet, contemporary dance, yoga) with an educational program managed by Nawal Aït Benalla- Lagraa and who implies the dancers of the Company La Baraka.

The first fruit of this project is Nya, a creation of Abou Lagraa, a dyptique for nine dancers of the Contemporary Ballet of Algiers. The piece saw itself attributed in July, 2011, Grand Prix of the Criticism for the best choreography of the year and turns at present all over the world.

The projects of the Company La Baraka and of the Ballet Contemporain d'Alger

Abou Lagraa pursues this human and artistic adventure with two new pieces, which will allow a rich meeting between the dancers of the Company La Baraka and the Algerian dancers of the Contemporary Ballet of Algiers.

So in May, 2012 will be created at Les Gémeaux/ Sceaux/ Scène Nationale, Univers… l'Afrique, a piece for 8 dancers (two quartets for the dancers of the Company La Baraka and the dancers of the Contemporary Ballet of Algiers). To speak about his African roots and about the love, the choreographer chose a musical vital lead: the singer Nina Simone.

In January, 2013, El-Djoudour (The roots), at The Grand Theater de Provence, Aix-en-Provence, for the opening of Marseille Provence 2013, the European Capital of culture. This piece will combine for the first time, on stage 16 dancers (eight of the Company La Baraka and the eight of the Ballet Contemporain d'Alger). Abou Lagraa wishes to focus this creation on its own perception of " living as a Muslim " in all its original dimension of generosity, sharing and fraternity.

 

 

The creations

 

2010 Nya pour le Ballet Contemporain d'Alger

2010 Un Monde en Soi avec le  Quatuor Debussy

2009 Cérémonie de Clôture du  Festival Panafricain– Algérie.

2008 Everyone's one pour le Memphis Ballet (USA)

2008 D'Eux Sens

2007 Nawal (ou l'offrande) pour le Centre Méditerranéen de Danse Contemporaine de Tunis

2007 My Skin pour la Hochschule de Francfort

2007 Matri(K)is

2006 Le Souffle du Temps pour les étoiles (Marie- Agnès Gillot, Manuel Legris et Wilfried Romoli,) et le Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris.

2006 Le Pas Suspendu avec l'Orchestre des Pays de Savoie) “La Jeune Fille et La Mort” (Schubert) et les “Trois Tempéraments” (Hindemith) »

2006 R.B.V.B.

2005 Où Transe

2004 Cutting Flat

2003 Leïla pour l'école supérieure du Centre de Danse Contemporaine d'Angers.

2002 Allegoria Stanza

2001 Fly, Fly au CCN Ballet de Lorraine

(entrera ensuite au répertoire de l'ABC Dance Company (Saint Pölten Autriche)

2000 Nuit Blanche

2000 Passage

1999 Kraft

1998 Violatus

1998 Les 2

The medias

 

La Baraka d'Abou Lagraa : sur France3 Hip-Hop Fusion : dans « Musiques au Coeur » (Eve Ruggieri) sur France2

Nuit Blanche : captation diffusée sur Arte

La Danse d'Abou Lagraa : diffusée dans « Musiques au Coeur » surFrance2, Mezzo et TV5 Monde

Juré à l'émission Dancing Show sur France2 à l'été 2006

Reportages et interviews TV : dans les JT de TF1, France2, France3, Les Mots de Minuits, Paris Dernière, FranceÔ, France24…

 

Supports of the Company La Baraka

The company La Baraka is in production residency at Les Gémeaux/ Sceaux/ Scène Nationale from 2009 to 2013.

Supports of the « Mediterranean Cultural Bridge »: Ministère de la Culture algérien, Agence Algérienne pour le Rayonnement Culturel, BNP Paribas Foundation.

From 2012 and until 2014, the French Ministry of Culture will support the project.

The company  is funded by the Ministère de la Culture – DRAC Rhône-Alpes, the Conseil Régional Rhône-Alpes, the Conseil Général du Rhône, the Ville de Lyon.

The Company La Baraka is supported by BNP Paribas Foundation.

Djoudour (El)

Choreography : Abou Lagraa

Original music : Olivier Innocenti

Lights : Nicolas Faucheux

Other collaborations : Chants Houria Aïchi. Soutiens du Pont Culturel Méditerranéen : Fondation BNP Paribas. Résidence La compagnie : La Baraka est en résidence de production aux Gémeaux / Sceaux / Scène Nationale de 2009 à 2014. Résidence de création : Grand Théâtre de Provence – Marseille Provence 2013 / Capitale Européenne de la Culture Conseil Général des Bouches du Rhône – Centre départemental de créations en résidence. Ness El Fen - Tunis (Tunisie)

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Cie La Baraka Coproduction : Grand Théâtre de Provence – Marseille Provence 2013 / Capitale Européenne de la Culture. Les Gémeaux / Sceaux / Scène Nationale. Théâtre National de Chaillot. Holland Festival / Amsterdam. La Coursive, Scène Nationale / La Rochelle. Le Théâtre* / Scène Nationale de Narbonne

Duration : 1 heure 10 sans entracte

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