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conceived & performed by

Radhouane El Meddeb



Thomas Lebrun &

Radhouane El Meddeb



Annie Tolleter


lighting design

Xavier Lazarini


sound design

Stéphane Gombert



La compagnie de SOI



Montpellier Danse,

Le 104-CENTQUATRE-Paris, Centre Chorégraphique National de Tours


with the support of


Centre National de la Danse, Pantin (FR)


8 February 2012, Le 104, Paris


approx. 55 minutes


no problem

upon request

w10m x d10m x h6m (tbc)

touring party 4 pax

transport none (1 extra suitcase)

links & downloads

> performance sheet (EN)

> dossier de diffusion (FR)

> context

> full video (password)

> HR photos (password)

> technical rider (password)


"Sous leurs pieds, le paradis, by the Tunisian dancer/choreographer Radhouane El Meddeb is one of the most oddest, most compelling solo performances I’ve seen. It is set to a recording of an extremely long song, Al-Atlal, performed by the Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. El Meddeb interprets Kulthum’s variations in his own secret language of the body, gliding around the darkened stage with tiny steps, flickering his hand like a hummingbird, ornamenting his path with mysterious gestures. His body exudes a kind of painful vulnerability. " Marina Harss


"... In the Koran and in the Prophet's Holy Sunna, Islam has given the mother a privileged status in comparison with the father's in terms of devotion, affection and charity. Because, in order to give life to a child, a mother makes all the efforts and bears the whole burden of it. There is a difference between fatherhood and motherhood. The former is not a physical burden for the male who is prompted by impulse and desire ,whereas the latter is a difficult matter and puts the mother's life at risk. She takes care of the child, feeds him with her whole body and at the expense of her health, puts her life at risk during childbirth and breastfeeding, which hinders her freedom and reduces the space of her daily life.


From this perspective, the Prophet's Tradition tells us that " Paradise lies under mothers' feet ». It is from this maternal figure that I want to explore a new solo, my amazing desire to be on stage... to pay homage to mothers... to women... to femininity… Because my urge to dance is relating to immoderation and rapture… Dancing is, for me, a feminine venture marked by gentleness and grace. Feminine spaces and sounds, numerous women's voices of every description, in all languages, from all times and all lands.


This woman's desire is probably just a single woman, a single song, a single voice. A woman's solitary voice.


My dancing is meant to be a homage to heroines, to our mothers, to our sisters… It is a signal to the women who have been around me but also to the woman within myself, to my own femininity. By unveiling it, I reveal my fragility, my perception of sensuality and courage at the same time. This revelation occurs without disguise. Putting oneself in a woman's shoes is not getting dressed like a woman and enhancing one's femininity but it is really drawing generosity and sensuality from the inner self. Strength and emotion brought together through dancing.


To be much more on my own, I will have a partner with his gaze and generosity: the choreographer Thomas Lebrun... who will put his signature to  this solo with me… We will be two men dancing, as it were, womanhood…. His dancing, his writing and his personality will help me surpass myself and make my universe and dancing richer… " Radhouane El Meddeb




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