Sous leurs pieds, le paradis
Sous leurs pieds, le paradis

© Agathe Poupeney

press to zoom
Sous leurs pieds, le paradis
Sous leurs pieds, le paradis

© Agathe Poupeney

press to zoom
Sous leurs pieds, le paradis
Sous leurs pieds, le paradis

© Agathe Poupeney

press to zoom
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)



duration 55 minutes

staff on tour 4 pax

freight none (1 extra suitcase)

technical rider on request


"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


tour dates

22 October 2017

21 October 2017

20 October 2017

11 November 2016

9, 10 September 2016

28 March 2015


27, 28 May 2014

22 March 2014

20 March 2014

18 March 2014

31 January 2014

24 January 2014


26, 27 November 2013

1 October 2013

27 September 2013

14 June 2013

21, 22 May 2013

14 May 2013

10 April 2013

22 March 2013

8, 9, 10 February 2013

27 January 2013

19 January 2013


1, 2, 3 July 2012

8, 9, 10 February 2012

Centro cultural Bertolt Brecht, Havana, Cuba

Centro cultural Bertolt Brecht, Havana, Cuba

Centro cultural Bertolt Brecht, Havana, Cuba

Teatro Comunale, Ferrara (IT)

Internationales Theater Festival, Basel (CH)

Marathon d'Avril, Théâtre Sorano, Toulouse (FR)


Theater der Welt, Nationaltheater, Mannheim (DE)

Le Pavillon Noir, Aix-en-Provence (FR)

Théâtres en Dracénie, Draguignan (FR)

Théâtre des 4 Saisons, Gradignan (FR)

Art Danse CDC Dijon-Bourgogne, Dijon (FR)

Hangar 23, Rouen (FR)


Pôle Sud, CDC, Strasbourg (FR)

Théâtre Jean Lurçat, Aubusson (FR)

Festival int. des francophonies en Limousin, Limoges (FR)

Centre chorégraphique national de Tours, Tours (FR)

Ashkal Alwal, Lebanese association for plastic arts, Beirut (LB)

French Institut (FIAF), New York (USA)

Danse à Lille, CDC, Roubaix (FR)

Centre chorégraphique national de Caen, Caen (FR)

Le 104 - Centquatre, Paris (FR)

La Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel (FR)

Tanzquartier Wien, Vienna (AT)


Montpellier Danse, Montpellier (FR)

Le 104-Centquatre, Paris (FR)