MORE THAN AN ARTISTIC PROJECT
The Witch Ceremony is a choreographic project questioning the issues of ritualistic, magical and shamanic practices in our contemporary societies. It will recreate a ceremony adapted to the necessities of our time.
The first research and creative residency will take place June 10th through the 17th at "Les Bazis", a center for performing arts located in the middle of the forest in the South of France. Culminating with work-in-progress showings. One following the residency on June 16th at Les Bazis in Ariège and another June 21st in Saint-Denis (a city near Paris).
Our ceremony will explore the porous borders between the real and magical worlds, between ritual and performance, and performers and spectators. The general objective we pursuing through this project is to consider the choreographic research as an area of action-research and a possible place for social and political transformation. We consider the creative process and the actual performance as a cross-cultural experimental space lending itself to create social links between the artists and various communities engaged as audience members or co-celebrants in the development of this project . The ecology of the project, in its relational and creative dimension, remains primordial for us. More than just a performance, we want to create a series of local effervescences, opportunities to engage in community in the localities where we will perform.
This artistic project is initiated by the choreographers Matthieu Nieto and Marion Blondeau, in collaboration with three other international artists: Mmakgosi Kgabi, Mohamed Fouad and Aissé Traoré.
MOVING THROUGH "TRANS" ZONES
By challenging some spatial boundaries and transgressing the ritualistics codes of dance and performance art, we hope to create collective states of being through conscious communion while stimulating and provoking trance like states of being . By trance, we mean unifying practices, states of existence that transcend the limits of the body and question Western binaries models such as body and spirit, the individual and the collective. Our point of inquiry is through the exploratory lens of different transe like states of being in relationship to and questioning physical, social and spiritual norms and our ability to shift and move within and beyond them. Bringing it closer to the uses of the prefix "trans-", we will propose a contemporary interpretation of transe that is transcultural, transgender and transgressive!
For that we will invoke the dormant witches inside each of us. These queer and feminist witches, holding a subversive power on the normative systems prevailing our contemporary worlds. This ceremony will invite us to move through trans lens to awaken new sensibilities, experience utopia of community through the body and build new horizons of freedom through performance.
THE ARTISTIC TEAM
**MATTHIEU NIETO - Choreographer
Matthieu Nieto is a performer and choreographer currently based in Saint-Ouen, in the greater Paris area. As a young scholar and a graduate student at Paris 8 University, he is interested in practice-as-research in the pursuit of his artistic and academic research, which are grounded in both performance and queer studies. His artistic work has been presented in New York, USA; Bamako, Mali; Johannesburg, South Africa; Kigali, Rwanda and Paris, France.
**MARION BLONDEAU - Choreographer
Marion Blondeau is a dancer, performer and choreographer. From the beginning of her career, she has developed an interest in intercultural collaboration with her travels and work in North African, Arab and West African countries. In turn she has developed a dance pedagogy that fuses her intercultural experiences. Her artistic work explores issues of women, feminism and otherness.
MMAKGOSI KGABI - Performer
Mmakgosi Kgabi is an actress and a physical theatre and improvisation performer. Currently based in Berlin, she has trained in Gaborone, Johannesburg and New York. In 2015, she presented her solo "Shades of A Queen" at the Queer New York International Arts Festival. Her work often interrogates the premise of identity and nationalism tying back to the themes of Queer identity, the Black Female Body Politics and Migration.
AISSÉ TRAORÉ - Performer
Aissé Traoré is a dancer and a reiki practitioner. She is currently graduating with a diploma Art Therapy from the hospital Saint-Annes in Paris. Since an early age, within the Malian communities in France, Aissé has been dancing for wedding ceremonies. She has trained in African contemporary dance, as well as Malian and Guinean traditional dance forms. As a performer, she collaborated with Manu Sissoko in Paris and Coline Billen, Brussels.
MOHAMED FOUAD - Performer
Mohamed Fouad graduated in Drama from the University of Alexandria before training as a contemporary dancer in Cairo. As a performer and choreographer, he has collaborated in several dance productions in Egypt. Currently based in Paris, he has shared his artistic work through workshops and performances in several African, Arab and European cities including Berlin, Beirut , Paris, Amsterdam, Riga, Amman, Tunis and Dusseldorf.