GERMAINE ACOGNY & MIKAËL SERRE (FR/SN)
SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING
“The piece shows how we have become what we are. And it raises the question of what we want to become in the future.”
What choreographies does a woman older than 70 create? The “mother of contemporary African dance” confronts her own past. In the solo Somewhere at the beginning she reads from the memoirs of her father, who as an administrator of the colonies sought to offer his services to the white masters. She tracks down her grandmother who held a powerful position in the village. How do ideas change through an imported religion? And what kind of loneliness does an acknowledged voodoo priestess feel? Mikaël Serre stages her performance in a poetic and intimate way in expansive memory pictures that literally stroll through the veils of history.
“One must become familiar with one’s roots,” says Germaine Acogny. “But one must transform them. Otherwise it’s folklore.” Born and raised in Senegal, she went into exile in Europe, where she later directed the Mudra Afrique for Maurice Béjart and in 2004 founded her own school. In 2007 she received the BESSIE Award in New York. The periodical Jeune Afrique ranks her among the 50 most influential persons of Africa.
Since 2002, the German-French director Mikaël Serre has been producing pieces at renowned venues such as the Parisian Théâtre de la Bastille, the Schauspielhaus Zürich and the Berliner Schaubühne.
Choreography, Dance: Germaine Acogny
Conception, direction: Mikaël Serre
Choreographic assistence: Patrick Acogny
Stage set: Maciej Fiszer
Costumes: Johanna Diakhate-Rittmeyer
Music, composition, live mix: Fabrice Bouillon “Laforest”
Video: Sébastien Dupouey
Light: Sébastien Michaud
Technical direction: Marco Wehrspann
Production: JANT-BI, Senegal
Co-production: Les Théâtres de la Ville du Luxembourg/ Théâtre de la Ville, Paris / Institut Français, Paris
Residencies and co-production: La Ferme du Buisson, scène nationale de Marne-la-Vallée
Residency: Le Centquatre, Paris
The guest performance takes place with the kind support of the Institut français and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication / DGCA and in the frame of Frankfurt auf Französisch – Frankreich Ehrengast der Frankfurter Buchmesse 2017