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We are Numeridanse : Abou Lagraa et Nawal Aït Benalla Lagraa

Numeridanse 2021 - Director : Deschamps, Tiffanie

Choreographer(s) : Lagraa, Abou (France) Lagraa - Aït Benalla, Nawal (France)

Present in collection(s): Numeridanse , We are Numeridanse

en fr

We are Numeridanse : Abou Lagraa et Nawal Aït Benalla Lagraa

Numeridanse 2021 - Director : Deschamps, Tiffanie

Choreographer(s) : Lagraa, Abou (France) Lagraa - Aït Benalla, Nawal (France)

Present in collection(s): Numeridanse , We are Numeridanse

en fr

We are Numeridanse

Artists, companies, institutions, these structures bring to the platform their audiovisual heritage, their knowledge, their expertise in favor of the choreographic art. For the platform's 10th anniversary, it was important and necessary to put the contributors of Numeridanse in the spotlight! 

In order to celebrate them and so that Numeridanse users get to know them better, we have invited our contributors to answer a series of questions about their works, their inspirations, their desire for collaborations, their creation anecdotes. 


Discover these artists in the We are Numeridanse collection!

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/ 

Lagraa - Aït Benalla, Nawal

Born in Morocco of a Berber father and French mother, Nawal Aït Benalla Lagraa moved to France with her family when she was eight. She began ballet very young and completed her classical training, during which she tackled the repertoire’s great roles. Before long, Nawal broadened her dancing and became interested in contemporary and jazz styles. She took part in
productions with the Armstrong Jazz Ballet, where she had the opportunity to work with choreographers as contrasting as Wayne Barbaste and Géraldine Armstrong, Georges Momboye and Matt Mattox... 


An artist in the fullest sense, open to diverse forms of artistic expression, Nawal was soon approached by many other choreographers and directors.
As a result, she has performed in Jacques Weber’s Cyrano de Bergerac at the Théâtre du Châtelet, in Yannis Kokkos’ The Trojans and at Opéra Bastille with Blanca Li... She has also taken part in numerous audiovisual events. 


Passionately committed to exchanges and teaching, in 2005 she obtained her State Diploma as a dance teacher at the Centre National de la Danse, Pantin (Paris). 


She joined the La Baraka company in 2006 for Matri(k)is and became Abou Lagraa’s assistant for the Ballet Memphis (USA) commission in 2007. 


For the Lyon International Dance Biennial in 2008, Abou Lagraa devised the duet D Eux Sens for Nawal and himself. 


In 2009, she assisted Abou Lagraa for the Closing Ceremony of the Pan African Festival in Algiers. This was a revelation for her, and she decided to dedicate herself more fully to training young Algerian dancers, offering them professional status through an introduction to contemporary dance. 


In 2010, in addition to performing in Un monde en soi, a piece for seven dancers and the Debussy Quartet, she helped Abou Lagraa develop the Mediterranean Cultural Bridge project for which she took over the educational leadership. 


In her own words This intensive training is, in my opinion, the right way to convey to these young performers, committed in body and in soul, the appreciation for hard work and thought that you need to gain access to the state of dance, to freedom... 


She continues to teach while NYA is on tour, and shares her love of teaching in many workshops and masterclasses, particularly in France, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Russia, the USA... 


She assisted Abou Lagraa for his 2012 creation, Univers l Afrique, and helps the dancers of the Algiers Contemporary Ballet in their teaching mission to help a new generation of teacher/dancers bloom in Algeria. 


Source : La Baraka


En savoir plus : www.aboulagraa.fr

Deschamps, Tiffanie

After training in video editing, Tiffanie Deschamps made her debut in television. From the start, she never ceased to build bridges between her work as an audiovisual editor and her activities as light manager and assistant director for live shows with the Mac Guffin collective. Co-founder and co-director of the Théâtre de l'Uchronie in Lyon since 2013, she naturally comes to portray theatrical and choreographic pieces, and to tell the dance, in particular within the Maison de la Danse de Lyon and during cultural events such as the Lyon Dance Biennale. 


Cie La Baraka / La Chapelle - Abou & Nawal Lagraa

La Baraka is a contemporary dance company (association law 1901). With a repertoire, pieces shot through with pure energy and a hybrid style that borrows from everything that has made up the path of the two choreographers: the other shore of the Mediterranean, contemporary dance, jazz, hip-hop and even yoga postures. 


Source: Cie La Baraka - La Chapelle / Abou Lagraa & Nawal Aït Benalla

More information: www.aboulagraa.fr

We are Numeridanse

Artistic direction / Conception : Numeridanse

Additionnal music : "Alive Inside" - Reaktor

Video conception : Ladydinde

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse

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