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DANCE — Fascinated by the rhythmic complexity of Jamaican Dancehall, Cecilia Bengolea explores this musical and choreographic culture born in 1960s Jamaica. Dancehall is a lifestyle that resists power structures, a denunciation of oppressive ideologies. It is an outlet for the violence and competition to which the youngest populations of the ghettos of Kingston are subjected.

Bengolea regularly travels to Jamaica, where she has met two star dancers in this form (Damion BG Dancers and Giddy Elite Team). These courageous young people, refusing to subject themselves to the cheap labor that constitutes new forms of slavery and exploitation, attempt with the utmost ingenuity to survive through self-expression. What results is a dance that is combative and defiant, technical and rhythmic. 

Chaignaud has pursued the study of vocal polyphony (for three or four bodies and voices). This repertory, which is sometimes quite ancient, is considered both a tradition and a living, breathing element of daily life. The repertory is quite varied with respect to region and the function of each song. 

Its richness, nuance, and emotional power, however, can be precious and inspiring resources to associate it to other contexts and other vocal repertories. Excited by the immense technical challenges (precision, synchronisation, vocal projection, etc.) that singing and dancing these powerful polyphonies a capella present, François Chaignaud dreams of a total mode of expression by which bodies create an event that is at once musical, vocal, visual, and kinetic.


Thus, François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea affirm both their passion for choreographic and artistic practices outside of contemporary dance’s field of reference and their desire to create a mode of expression that is specific, analytical, abstract, and humorous from experiences with these heterogeneous languages. This work calls upon the diversity and specificity of the genealogies and sources encountered as much as it emancipates itself from them to create unexpected figures and forms, freed from the original references. 

Choreography: Cecilia Bengolea, François Chaignaud
Performance: Cecilia Bengolea, François Chaignaud, Valeria Lanzara, Erika Myauchi, Shihya Peng
Production: Vlovajob Pru
Coproduction: Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy and La Batie-Festival de Geneva with the INTERREG France-Switzerland 2014-2020 program, l'Echangeur CDC Picardie, Festival d'Automne in Paris and Les Spectacles vivants-Centre Pompidou, Biennale de la Danse de Lyon, deSingel Antwerp, Salder's Wells London, CCN de Grenoble, CDC Toulouse, Gessnerallee Zürich