Taoufiq Izeddiou (Marocco)

It was in his home town of Marrakech that Taoufiq Izeddiou discovered a passion for contemporary dance after some classes in ballet and modern jazz dance. During training that he describes as brutal, he worked with master choreographers such as Joseph Nadj, Daniel Larrieu, Héla Fattoumi and Éric Lamoureux. His encounter with the French-Guyanese-Vietnamese artist Bernardo Montet, director of the Centre Chorégraphique National in Tours, opened the way to his professional career in 1997, and for eight years they pursued a questioning of origins and identity.

While pursuing his career as a dancer, Taoufiq Izeddiou created his first choreography in 2000. The following year his solo Danse Nord established his reputation as a choreographer. In 2003, the success in the Arab community of the ensemble piece Fina K’enti encouraged him to establish Anania, Morocco’s first contemporary dance company, with the choreographers Bouchra Ouizguen and Said Aït El Moumen. Two years later he created the On marche dance festival as well as a training program. To upgrade his qualifications, he decided to obtain a teaching diploma in France. He continues to work in both countries, and his pieces explore social hypocrisy, the tensions between tradition and modernity and between North and South, with the body only free under cover of darkness. Following after Cœur sans corps, Déserts désirs and Aataba, Aaléef is his ninth piece.

A contemporary dance pioneer in Morocco, Taoufiq Izeddiou is making his North American début with a work that knocks aside any semblance of dance conformism.



Driven by the rage of bodies and minds too long condemned to silence, he fights like the devil in the backlight of a triple row of spotlights aimed toward the back of the stage. We see a faceless man grappling with invisible enemies, an anonymous silhouette thirsting for light and space. He uses his fists, his hips, his feet, his voice. Caught in the entrails of his own story, he desperately seeks an exit. Soon he will glare straight into the sun with the fiery spirit and insolence of those who have nothing to lose.

Riding the wave of the Arab spring, Aaléef updates traditions and questions what is possible on the threshold of a new freedom. Taoufiq Izeddiou proclaims a fully assumed, strong and original dance identity. 


Choreografy and performance: Taoufiq Izeddiou
Duration: 45 min.
Premiere: 2011