Interview. The dancer and choreographer was appointed as the head of the Chaillot National Theatre, sharing with him the idea of dealing with new challenges.
[R[ROuramdane traveled through the world of dance with the elegance and agility of a tightrope walker. Always in the middle, suspended between two worlds, two arts, and two movements. After studying at the National Contemporary Dance Center, he quickly founded his own company L’A. The next artistic journey will unravel the entanglement of the boundary network he played when he frustrated the boundary.So in Extreme body, This is a show that brings together experts, climbers and climbing champions Big guyget together, The landscape wall between the artist and the audience. At the age of 50, his appointment was in an uncertain cultural period, with both a health crisis and intermittent troubles of entertainment workers. But the new director intends to seize this crisis and reshape the way of acquiring culture. For this, he will rely on nine related artists: Nacera Belaza, François Chaignaud, Aurélie Charon, Fanny de Chaignau Fanny de Chaillé, Dorothee Munyaneza, Faustin Linyekula, Gisèle Vienne, circus collective XY and rapper Kery James (Kery James), he will serve for many years accompanied by five artists. A gesture of tolerance, welcoming and openness is consistent with the National Pop Theater and the household names of Jean Vilar and then Antoine Vitez. Interview.
Le Point Afrique: In what mentality do you plan to accept the appointment?
Rachid Ouramdane:Provocation and confrontation make me disinterested. It keeps us away from each other. For me, the important thing is to create curiosity, gather and communicate in all the complexities of French diversity. Invent a solution to this complexity. This is all I want to bring to Chaillot. This place is obviously full of symbols. This building is the seat of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948. This place is characterized by a history of welcoming and egalitarian theater for everyone. Chaillot is the only national dance company, so in my opinion, it must bring all the strata of French society together. This is about providing the theater with artistic gestures and aesthetic performance.
Elysee told our colleagues world Your project is “broken on social issues” and belongs to “Charlotte and a precise moment in the history of our country”. how about it? Or what?
We are at a complicated moment in history, experiencing various crises: health, society, social crises, and demonstrations that raise issues of discrimination. In addition, there are migration crises and sometimes identity conflicts. This rally word is part of the theater that defends aesthetic diversity and recognizes the desire of all genders, cultural and social communities to contribute to artistic creation. I also defended the European Theater. I am lucky to travel and live abroad often. I found this kind of French multiculturalism in our society. Show that our community is made up of these differences, rather than thinking that we are fragmented.
If your appointment is welcomed, you will regret that this appointment did not solicit candidates, but “reflection led by the DGCA (General Directorate of Art Creation)” and did not appoint a lady. What do you think?
This is a decree appointment and usually applies to the National Theater. I know that several artists have been able to submit projects. Therefore, a comparison method was adopted between several proposals. In fact, regarding equality issues, I think it is important to pay attention to equality issues in cultural institutions. In the project I led, 9 related artists accompanied me, including 5 women. We will lead by example on this issue, and I intend to continue to lead by example in Charlotte, because Charlotte already has this policy, especially on the salary scale.
Among the 9 related artists, there is Kery James. Are you planning to work with him?
I intend to create a place for music in future programming. Then there is the artist himself, Kery James defended it through his words. A house like Chaillot can rely on the personality in songs and music, because some choreography trends are closely related to music culture. I could have invited people from the hip-hop world, but I would rather make room for people from this song. Kery James has works of art and scenery. He has a movie project. I think it is his diversity that can create works that can appeal to other audiences.
I hope that the programs Chaillot provides are not just for those who have initiated and have a password. I want to blur the line between popularism and elitism. My predecessor also promoted this line. This is about being faithful to the legacy of cultural democratization, and this is a point of view that we must not lower our vigilance. It is to make as many people as possible to be interested in art and culture, so it is necessary to know how to be consistent with the crowd, and to know how to invent devices that can respond to the lifestyle and rhythm of the crowd. For example, digital technology is disrupting the way we understand art. Institutions like Chaillot must always reflect on themselves, questioning diversity and popularization.
How and why did you become a dancer? You won’t choose art for no reason…
The question of choice came after I started dancing. After a while I said to myself: “I want to be a dancer.” First of all, it is my pleasure to move and dance. When hip-hop music arrived in Europe in the 1980s, I discovered dance, and I just liked dancing. There is also a way to practice street dance, which is claimed and rooted in working-class communities. This is how I found the joy of dancing. Before becoming a representative art, it was a practice for me. Gradually, I discovered other types of dances I had practiced, and at the same time I did more classic research on biology. As a student, I accompanied my friend to the important dance school auditioned, namely CNDC in Angers. When I told myself this was experience, I was stopped, and I could always return to my studies. Once this school was over, I never left the dance world.
But one of you is eager to include this enjoyment in academic training…
I might be in a coma at the time. I am just attracted by the pleasure of doing things and meeting with artists. This report on specialization came too late. One day, I realized that I was the so-called “professional dance”. Basically, in my career, two things made me build up: one is the art school, and the other is the life school. I am always looking for the possibility of expressing myself. I grew up in this context: on the one hand, I learned a lot in the school of the Republic; on the other hand, I also have family stories, sometimes on the same events in history. When I was very young, I was deeply aware that facing the same reality, there are always different opinions. What I have always wanted to share is this diversity, because it makes me an artist like a dance. After that, if I want to practice an urban dance called “street dance”, it is not meaningless. There is the concept of commitment. All of this organized my dance lessons in a fairly natural way and made me want to expose myself to the eyes of others, and then talk about it.
What are these family stories and how does the dance fit into it?