Radhouane El Meddeb - HEROES
concept & choreography
Radhouane El Meddeb
Arnaud Duprat, Kim Evin,
Smail Kanoute, Brice Rouchet, Sandra Sainte Rose,
Ravi Shankar & Philippe Glass - Passages
Frédéric Deslias and Olivier Renouf
Cidalia Da Costa
Julie Sanerot and Bruno Viguier
bookings, tour management
Mathilde Langevin and
Gerco de Vroeg
duration 60 minutes, no intermission
language no problem
touring party 14 pax
freight 1 flight case
stage W14m x D12m x H8m
links & downloads
> performance sheet (EN)
> dossier de diffusion (FR)
> full video (password)
> HR photos (password)
> technical rider (password)
Watching dancers freely training in the open spaces of the CENTQUATRE-PARIS inspired choreographer Radhouane El Meddeb to work with some of these impressively energetic and singular individuals. Heroes, the second phase of his Prelude, offers the audience an ode to perpetual motion. The “heroes” of the piece come from varied practices – jazz, hip hop, freestyle and breakdance – and are totally committed in their performances, confronting their individual worlds with contemporary dance and the choreographer’s notation. Their bodies and gestures, although very different, meet, intertwine and harmonise. They perform confined within a large black square drawn on the ground, escaping thanks to their sheer creative energy.
HEROES, PRÉLUDE > HEROES
Heroes was created in two phases. Commissioned by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and following a mere 3 weeks rehearsal period in spring 2015, an initial 20 minutes version, Heroes, prélude, premiered at the Panthéon (Paris) on April 14th and 15th, 2015, as part of the Séquence Danse festival. This short version was performed several times, among others at CENTQUATRE-PARIS in October 2015 as part of the Festival Les Singuliers. After a second series of rehearsals with the same artistic team a final 60-minute version, now titled Heroes, premiered on July 13th and 14th, 2016, at the Festival de Marseille. Both performances, Heroes, prélude and Heroes are available for further touring.
production La Compagnie de SOI & CENTQUATRE-PARIS coproduction Centre des Monuments Nationaux, Festival de Marseille, Ballet National de Marseille, Houdremont, Scène conventionnée - La Courneuve, La Villette - Paris , CCN de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne / Compagnie Käfig, La Briqueterie, CDCN du Val-de-Marne. La compagnie de SOI is subsidized by DRAC Île-de-france / Ministry of culture and communication.
« Entire afternoons in the concourse of the CENTQUATRE-PARIS… Their number keeps growing, gathering in small groups or working on their routines alone. Each coming with his or her own sound and rhythm: they sweat, they move, they dance for a long, long time. Their breathing is heavy, we hear them counting, discussing, exchanging techniques, showing, watching, practicing over and over. Dancers caught up in the discipline of a performance they all create together, each entering the bubble they construct around themselves, a circle traced out on the ground through the repetition of their movements. Within this space they find a noisy shelter, a particular resonance in which gestures and music interlace.
I watch them for a long time, sometimes going up for a closer look, to meet them too and to understand their fierce determination. I realize that I seek their dreams, that I seek to pass through the glass walls they build around themselves, like cubes, squares in which they are enclosed and placed on public view. Closely packed together, their bodies sometimes touch, often brush against each other, but they do not seek contact and more often than not remain oblivious to it.
In this feverish dedication, I recognize the consuming hunger to devour dance relentlessly. This is a fierce, stubborn dance in which the dancers’ very existence seems to be at stake. And if one watches it for a long time, it is devastating, it becomes disorder, a work of creative rebellion. I know they have dreams, that these dreams fully inhabit them and I too begin to dream.
A dream of surpassing technique, respect for dogma and the rhythm imposed by this music, always the same at every point of sound, of even surpassing movement, continuous, incessant movement, and reaching dreams by a means other than through spectacle and the performative dimension of so-called urban dance, in order to go further... or rather to get closer to these dancing beings, performers of their dreams. For, when they dance they reveal the fragility and sensitivity within, a well-hidden, moving and confounding interiority, so that, beyond technique and all the hours of training, a pattern emerges from this continuum of frenetic bodies, faces, masks that fall away, solitudes speaking out and promises being sealed. » Radhouane El Meddeb – July 2014
« Making masks fall away, revealing sensitivity beyond prowess, surpassing performance to attain a tangible interiority, that is what is at stake in this work. The choreographer adds the question of space, the space in which they usually construct their movement, but which constrains it in its own way. » Nathalie Yokel, La Terrasse
« Ordinary heroes of dance, who every day contribute to the beauty of movement through their work. Devised with a small team of dancers who regularly frequent the CENTQUATRE in Paris to rehearse, the choreographer was captivated by their energy and quite simply their determination to dance. » Rosita Boisseau, Télérama