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Zero Degrees

Maison de la Danse de Lyon
2006 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Khan, Akram (United Kingdom) Cherkaoui, Sidi Larbi (Belgium)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon , Saisons 2000 > 2009

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

en fr

Zero Degrees

Maison de la Danse de Lyon
2006 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Khan, Akram (United Kingdom) Cherkaoui, Sidi Larbi (Belgium)

Present in collection(s): Maison de la Danse de Lyon , Saisons 2000 > 2009

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon

en fr

Zero Degrees

Zero degrees started as a desire of Sidi Larbi  Cherkaoui to dance a duet with British-Bengali choreographer and dancer  Akram Khan. Both are sons of Islamic families brought up in Europe, and  both draw upon this meeting of cultures, combining complex Indian kathak  dance with the speed and precision of contemporary movements.

Inviting Antony Gormley for the scenography and Nitin Sawhney for the live performed music; zero degrees  became a place of transformation. Inspired by the place where one thing  morphs into another, the grey zone between one thing and the next, the  degrees where water becomes ice, the line where life becomes death. Zero degrees  follows Cherkaoui and Khan on a journey to seek the reference point,  the source, the '0' at life's core. Inspired by their own dual  identities, the two search for this middle point through polar  opposites; becoming/death, light/dark, chaos/order. Zero degrees talks  about borders and how blurry they actually are.

With only two lifelike dummies, copies of Cherkaoui and Khan, the  emptiness on stage permits the audience to see many symbols of division  and unity within the choreography. The dummies are like alter egos,  sometimes they are oppressors, sometimes guards or dead bodies.

Zero degrees is a performance about the fragility of a human life,  about yin and yang. The piece has won a Helpmann Award in Australia and  was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in the U.K.

Source: Eastman

En savoir plus:

Khan, Akram

Akram   Khan   is   a   UK-born   dancer   of   Bangladeshi  descent.  After  training  with  Sri  Pratap  Pawar  in  kathak  (the  traditional  dance  of  northern  India),  he  was  handed 
his  first  role  aged  13  in  « Mahâbhârata », a  piece  by  Peter  Brook  that  made  a  big  impression.  From  the  1990s  onwards,  he  mixed contemporary dance with this traditional  art  in  « Polaroid  Feet »  (2001),  « Ronin » (2003) and « Third Catalogu »e (2005). During the  same  period  he  studied  at  P.A.R.T.S.,  the Brussels school run by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.
Akram  Khan  quickly  became  a  prominent  figure on the global choreography scene, notably  when  he  wrote  the  duet  « zero degrees »  (2005)  with  Sidi  Larbi  Cherkaoui.  He   also   danced   with   Sylvie   Guillem   in   « Sacred  Monsters »  and  Juliette  Binoche  in  the  duet  « IN-I »;  and  wrote  « Bahok » (2008)  for  the National Ballet of China.
Taking a break from the stage, and erasing frontiers  between  dance  genres,  Akram  Khan  created  most  of  the  choreography  for  Kylie  Minogue’s  2006  tour.  In  2009  he  conceived  the  kathak  solo  « Gnosis » for Svapnagata, a festival of Indian dance and music  of  which  he  is  artistic  director.
In  2012  he  created  the  choreography  section  of  the  London  Olympics’ opening ceremony.
A  great  performer,  he  directed  himself  in  the  autobiographical  solo « Desh »  (2011),  meaning  “earth”,  in  which  he  goes  back  to his roots. « Desh »  met  with  immediate 
success around the world. Building on that, he  created  a  version  for  children  aged 7+  and  their  families, « Chotto Desh »,  with  the  help  of  the  theatre  director  Sue  Buckmaster. 
« Torokaka » (2014), created with Israel  Galván,  was  the  meeting  of  two  dancers  at  the  acme  of  their  art,  a  joust  between Indian and Spanish cultures. In 2016 Khan staged « Until the Lions », inspired by a  passage  in  Karthika  Naïr’s  book  which  revisits key episodes of sacred Indian epic Mahâbhârata.

Source : 17th Biennale de la danse 2016 press kit

More information

Cherkaoui, Sidi Larbi

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s debut as a choreographer was in 1999 with Andrew Wale’s contemporary musical Anonymous Society. Since then, he has made more than 20 fully-fledged choreographic pieces and picked up a slew of prestigious awards.

In 2008, Sadler’s Wells named him as an Associate Artist, and since 2010 he has been artistic director of the Festival Equilibrio in Rome. He also has been appointed as the new artistic director of the Royal Ballet Flanders and will take up the post on 1 September 2015.

While Cherkaoui’s initial pieces ("Rien de Rien", "Foi", "Tempus Fugit") were made as a core member of the Belgian collective les ballets C de la B, he also made work that both expanded and consolidated his artist vision: "Ook" (2000) with Nienke Reehorst and the mentally disabled actors of Theater Stap, "D’avant" (2002) with Damien Jalet and dancer-singers of the Sasha Waltz & Guests company and zero degrees (2005) with Akram Khan. Between 2006-2009, during his stint as associate artist at Het Toneelhuis in Antwerp, he extended his exploration of the equations between self and otherness through "Sutra" (2008), his dialogue with the warrior monks of the Shaolin Temple and "Dunas" (2009) alongside flamenco bailaora, Maria Pagés, and "Play" (2010) with kutchipudi danseuse Shantala Shivalingappa.

In 2010, with the founding of his company Eastman (in residence at deSingel International Artcampus) in Antwerp, Cherkaoui began a new phase in his trajectory, marked by the multiple-award-winning Babel, co-choreographed with Damien Jalet and designed by Antony Gormley. "TeZukA" (2011) – his homage to Osamu Tezuka, the founding father of modern manga – and "Puz/zle" (2012) followed. 2013 saw the premiere of 4D and "生长genesis" (Eastman), "Boléro" (co-created with Damien Jalet and Marina Abramovic, for the Ballet of the Opera of Paris) and "M¡longa" (for Sadler’s Wells).

He continues to work with a variety of theatres, opera houses and ballet companies from the world (Dutch National Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, GöteborgsOperan Danskompani, Bunkamura Theatre Cocoon in Tokyo, Stuttgart Ballet. Los Angeles Dance Company). Cherkaoui also received much international acclaim for his choreography in Joe Wright’s feature film Anna Karenina (2012). Cherkaoui directed and choreographed Shell Shock (2014), an opera for La Monnaie (Brussels) with music by Nicholas Lens and text by Nick Cave.

In 2015, Cherkaoui directed his first full-length theatre production Pluto based on the award-winning manga series by Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki at Bunkamura in Tokyo, bringing 

the beloved manga character Astro Boy to life on stage, and was movement director for Lyndsey Turner's Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch at the Barbican Centre in London. He also made a trio Harbor Me, and choreographed a new Firebird for Stuttgart Ballet. In the same year, Cherkaoui created a new production Fractus V for his company Eastman, in which he also performs, and made his first work for the Royal Ballet of Flanders Fall. 

Cherkaoui assumed the role of artistic director at the Royal Ballet of Flanders in 2015. He is also associate artist at Sadler’s Wells, London, guest artistic director of the National Youth Dance Company, as well as dance director of Festival Equilibrio in Rome.

Source: Eastman⎜Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

More information :

Picq, Charles

Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq 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.

More recently, he launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created the website, an international video library for dance online.

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

Zero Degrees

Artistic direction / Conception : Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Akram Khan

Choreography : Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Akram Khan

Interpretation : Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Akram Khan

Artistic consultancy / Dramaturgy : Guy Cools

Set design : Antony Gormley

Original music : Nitin Sawhney

Live music : Tim Blake, Faheem Mazhar, Alies Sluiter, Joby Burgess, Coordt Linke

Lights : Mikki Kunttu

Costumes : Kei Ito

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Akram Khan Company, Les Ballets C. de la B.

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse de Lyon - Charles Picq, 2006

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