A global experience

French connection

A global experience
Expressing one’s feelings through movements is what French dancer and choreographer Rachid Ouramdane believes in. He has been one of the leading exponents of innovation in the field of dance and telling stories from around the world through dance.

During his recent visit to the city, he choreographed ‘Tordre (Wrought)’ which was presented by CCN2 Centre choreographic national de Grenoble for Attakkalari India Biennial 2017. He spoke to Anila Kurian about the performance and his experience in India.

How has your experience in India been?
It’s my first time here. I had a busy schedule and initially wasn’t sure if I could fit this trip in my calendar. But when I heard about the event and what art represents here, I really wanted to be a part of the event. The festival is a great platform for emerging artistes and a good place to meet other people. It is definitely the beginning of a relationship that I want to have with India.

What was the storyline of ‘Tordre’?
It was a dual performance of two wonderful dancers. Both of them are unique in their own way and they portrayed that on stage. Through hypnotic, whirling gestures, each woman’s body painted a raw, captivating self-portrait. The choreography pushes the performers to find what makes them who they are. There’s always this pre-conceived notion that people have about others. The dancers spoke about finding solutions for it and how they dealt with it. It was their way of showing that they are also different.

Tell us about the CCN2 performance.
It was a full-house on Sunday and a wonderful experience. The type of audience that came is new to me so I didn’t have any particular expectations. I wasn’t sure how contemporary dance will be received here but the response was positive. The audience reacted to moments in the piece that I felt were probably western. It felt like a global experience.

How different was this response from the ones you had been getting? 
I’ve had performances in various places of Europe and they have all garnered different reactions. Certain sections of the performance struck a chord with the audience and made them realise who they are. It was interesting to hear them praise my work and tell each other that it was a great performance. I’m glad that I got to tell my story through art.

How would you define your dance?
Even in this huge world, there are things you will find in common with others. There are also certain notions that we carry with us. I concentrate on projects that are based on this, show
emotions and bring out the common relationship between people. Dance is when you express feelings through movements. It is a form of expression that is making an impact around the world.

When will you be visiting India again?
I was just here for a couple days for the festival. I had just enough time to do the setup, performance, conduct a workshop and catch my flight back home.  I hope to plan better next time and explore more. I would love to meet more artistes and have a social life as well. All of this, hopefully soon.

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