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Le Cantique des Cantiques - Création à la Maison

Compagnie La Baraka Abou Lagraa 2015 - Director : Plasson, Fabien

Choreographer(s) : Lagraa, Abou (France)

Present in collection(s): Compagnie La Baraka Abou Lagraa

Video producer : Maison de la Danse

en fr

Le Cantique des Cantiques - Création à la Maison

Compagnie La Baraka Abou Lagraa 2015 - Director : Plasson, Fabien

Choreographer(s) : Lagraa, Abou (France)

Present in collection(s): Compagnie La Baraka Abou Lagraa

Video producer : Maison de la Danse

en fr

Le Cantique des Cantiques

For this new production Abou Lagraa has joined forces with the uncompromising director Mikaël Serre, a first in his journey as a choreographer. With this he has made a U-turn, with the desire to return to his original writing style – that of 'Nuit Blanche' and 'Cutting Flat' – without a mix of genres or hip-hop, and with high-level dancers who are able to throw themselves into it. There has also been a shift with the decision to choreograph a piece based on a text and to involve a director in the narrative structure. “I have always worked on abstraction; today I find it more enriching to choreograph based on a text, with the chronology of a narration that helps me to express myself more profoundly. That said, it isn't easy – you have to find the balance between dance and words. It's not theatre either, even though there are two actresses. It's something much freer.”

Devised as the first part of a series of three pieces, 'Le Cantique des Cantiques' examines the meaning of the word love, in a couple but above all towards others in our current society. It examines sexual identity, the place of women and intolerance, subjects that the choreographer has already tackled but this time reworked with a new maturity. “I feel better equipped to take on these topics which I'm passionate about – some of them are approached through the events of today, of this world which has been driven mad by the rise of fundamentalism. As a Muslim, I find it interesting to work on this text that comes from the Bible and the Torah. What open-mindedness it took to incorporate erotic and sensual texts into these sacred books, written two thousand years ago, given our knowledge that religion censures pleasure.” For Mikaël Serre, the religious context was different: “Religion was not yet as rigidly constructed as it is today. We are returning to its origins. The text attests to past that is ancient but generous, with feelings made visible, such as love and sexuality, with this quest for meaning, the idea of the unknown, of God. These people had a message to pass on the future generations, but the potential openness was obviously not pursued.”

A culture destroyed by religious fanaticism, the refusal of a society where there is dialogue between religions, homosexuality upon which some people spit without accepting it in themselves, sexual frustration, the man who fears a women's body, the regression of a society, of human rights: Abou Lagraa wants to talk about all of this and 'Le Cantique' allows him a dual reading. Then, there's love, which is not necessarily beauty – revealing violence, demanding commitment. The common thread is these three different duets inspired by the themes of the poem. “They allowed me to work on the concepts of fusion, ambiguity, the man/woman division, lyricism, the opposition of modesty and eroticism, the parity of desire, the transformation of states, separation, calm, solitude. Societal situations emerge within this structure.”

Mikaël Serre's theatre work is the opposite of the choreographer's dance; anchored in the real, disturbing, a refusal of aesthetics. For the first time he has joined up with a team, a demanding artists and no theatrical text. Though the challenge terrifies them, they are nevertheless delighted by this common space that enables them to get their own artistic vision moving. “This antagonism in our respective approaches is disturbing,” says Abou Lagraa. “However, it also allows us to mutually support each other so we can go in each other's direction, which brings a great deal of strength. With him, I have learnt not to let go of ideas that may be disturbing. For example, there is a scene that I would not have seen through if I had been on my own.” “His suggestions have allowed me to work on how a dialogue between composition and space is created, and to look deeper into what the two actresses might suggest,” adds Mikaël.

After two years of work, Abou Lagraa says that he has been deeply moved by this text, finding himself in the service of a poem and a production: “Its apparent simplicity hides a great complexity what has taken us very far in our research, as though it was the one that decided where we should go. The open road was exhausting and amazing, constantly bringing us back to today's world, between cruelty and hope.”


Source : Compagnie La Baraka


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/ 

Plasson, Fabien

Born in 1977, Fabien Plasson is a video director specialized in the field of performing arts (dance , music, etc).

During his studies at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon (joined in 1995) Fabien discovered video art. He was trained by various video artists (Joel Bartoloméo Pascal Nottoli , Eric Duyckaerts , etc) .
He first experimented with the creation of installations and cinematic objects.

From 2001 to 2011, he was in charge of Ginger & Fred video Bar’s programming at La Maison de la Danse in Lyon. He discovered the choreographic field and the importance of this medium in the dissemination, mediation and pedagogical approach to dance alongside Charles Picq, who was a brilliant video director and the director of the video department at that time.

Today, Fabien Plasson is the video director at La Maison de la Danse and in charge of the video section of Numeridanse.tv, an online international  video library, and continues his creative activities, making videos of concerts, performances and also creating video sets for live performances.


Sources: Maison de la Danse ; Fabien Plasson website

More information: fabione.fr

Le Cantique des Cantiques

Choreography : Abou Lagraa

Interpretation : Pascal Beugré-Tellier, Ludovic Collura, Saül Dovin, Diane Fardoun, Charlotte Siepiora, Antonia Vitti, avec les comédiennes Gaïa Saitta et Maya Vignando

Stage direction : Mikaël Serre

Set design : LFa – Looking for architecture

Text : Olivier Cadiot et Michel Berder – Édition Bayard

Original music : Olivier Innocenti

Video conception : Giuseppe Greco

Lights : Fabiana Piccioli

Costumes : Carole Boissonet

Technical direction : Antoine de Gantho

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Cie La Baraka, Maison de la Danse de Lyon,

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Movimentos Festival Weeks oh the Autostadt 2016, Wolfsburg, Allemagne, Le Grand Théâtre de Provence d’Aix-en-Provence, Le Théâtre National de Chaillot, Les Gémeaux – Scène Nationale de Sceaux, Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy, Centre Chorégraphique National de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne / Compagnie Käfig - direction Mourad Merzouki dans le cadre de l’accueil studio

Création à la Maison

This serie was imagined by la Maison de la Danse de Lyon. The director Fabien Plasson questions the various choreographic artists invited in residence in the walls of the theater.
These interviews and images of rehearsal on the stage allow the spectators to approach the show from another angle: that of its creation, the different processes through which the creators pass, springboards or brakes that they encounter on their way.


Source: Maison de la Danse de Lyon

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