SFUMATO (performance)

Conception, choreography: Rachid Ouramdane
Creation assistant: Erell Melscoët
Performers: Jean-Baptiste André, Brice Bernier, Deborah Lennie-Bisson, Mille Lundt, Ruben Sanchez, Lora Juodkaite
Music: Jean-Baptiste Julien
Text: Sonia Chiambretto
Video: Aldo Lee, Jacques Hoepffner
Costumes: La Bourette
Lights: Stéphane Graillot
Set: Sylvain Giraudeau
Premiere: 2012, Biennale de la danse – Lyon (France)
Duration: 75 min.



The pain comes with broken dreams, lost illusions of a promised land./ A fight against nature, „Paris – Normandie“ 09/11/12/

On „Sfumato’s“ stage, Rachid Ouramdane gives a fantasmatic vision of “climate refugees’s” testimonies, those refugees who have to face the question of territories disappearance. A new experience of exile and a poetry of memories, written with the collaboration of author Sonia Chiambretto.

“I was remembering the trip I made in Vietnam a few years ago for “Far…“. The village named Lai-Châu was about to be buried under water. I was remembering that when we talked to these inhabitants about Lai-Châu, they were asking “Which one?” because the exact copy of the village was being built somewhere else to rehouse the villagers. Then I thought about what meant to see things disappear, to see people disappear and leave, and to be separated from a lover.

“When nature rears its ugly head, everything seems to become disproportionate. Because things change, there’s confusion. Like our connection with time. We’re not in a slow and progressive dimension like the melting of ice caps or the decrease of lands. There’s a drama that leads us to a common feeling of loss, of disappearance”, explains the choreographer. Despite everything, life goes on, and everybody has to get himself back together. “I think that this human ability to cope with brutal changes and to accept our fragility is amazing. There’s often statement of humility in front of things that overstep us”.

In “Sfumato”, Rachid Ouramdane gave less importance to words and more to movements. His dance is built around the resistance to elements and exposes bodies struggling. Sfumato is a very physical play. “There’s risk taking to create a fragile presence on the stage to confront the natural elements.” Rachid Ouramdane imagined his news creation this way, like a succession of scenes. That’s why the play is named „Sfumato“, like the particular technique of painting that shades the contours and melts the shadow, this same secret technique Léonard de Vinci mastered. Misty landscapes, raining weathers succeed each other not only in order to mistreat the body but also to create contemplative atmosphere.


Photos by Jacques Hoepffner.

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Thanks to Handicap International, Mathilde Burille, Charlotte Giteau, Alice Kinh, Tidiani N’Diaye, Virginie Vaillant.

The text presented on stage is an excerpt from „La Taïga court“ by Sonia Chiambretto.



After his degree at the National Centre for Contemporary Dance of Angers, Rachid Ouramdane begins a choreographer and performer career and works in France and abroad with Meg Stuart, Emmanuelle Huynh, Odile Duboc, Christian Rizzo, Hervé Robbe, Catherine Contour, Jeremy Nelson and Alain Buffard. In 1996, he creates the « Fin novembre » company with Julie Nioche, and establishes later his own company in 2007: L’A.

His plays distinguish themselves by using video devices to explore the intimate sphere. They also testify a specific approach: the uniqueness of an encounter is considered as a decisive factor in every of his plays. That’s why trips are inspiring the creations. After “Discreet Deaths” (2004), a solo based on the representations of death on the Internet, Rachid Ouramdane goes to the eastern part of Brazil to create “Cover” (2005) with three artists he met there. For “Far…” (2008), an autobiographical solo, he goes to ex-Indochina looking for his own family history, then returns to Brazil to prepare “Ordinary Witnesses” (2009), a choreography based on the testimony of people victims of torture.

He also gives high priority to many collaborations : “Superstars” (2006) created for the Ballet of the Opera of Lyon; “Borscheviks… a true story…” (2010), for the dancers of the russian company Migrazia during a residence in Siberia for the Intradance project (Russia); and “Looking back” (2011), for the 20 years birthday of Candoco Dance Company (United Kingdom) with disabled dancers.

Apart from his artistic project that connects dance to documentary since the creation of L’A company, Rachid Ouramdane puts a lot of himself in an international activity of transmission and encounter (workshop, conferences, researches) in France, Romania, Netherlands, Brazil, United States.



Supported by :

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