11 — 14.05.2023
Nadia Beugré Abidjan-Montpellier
Prophétique (On est déjà né·es)
dance — premiere
Two years ago, Nadia Beugré met several members of the transgender community of Abidjan, the city where she grew up. Recognised at birth as boys, they navigate between genders in a society that – at best – often looks the other way. Most live as hairdressers by day and dancefloor divas by night. They move between clandestine existence and a parallel circuit of solidarity, where they have invented their own dances that draw on voguing and coupé-décalé. Beugré created this project with them, deepening a choreographic exploration of gender and assigned identities, and of what is perceived on the periphery of the norm. After the resounding success of L'homme rare, Ivorian choreographer Nadia Beugré returns to the festival with the world premiere of Prophétique (On est déjà né·es). She introduces us to a space that appears to be in perpetual transition: we enter a theatre which becomes a hairdressing salon, which becomes a dance floor, which becomes a theatre again, … Nothing is fixed, just as every movement of the body is an ode to the possibility of being several things at once. In this intimate and at the same time explosive choreography, Beugré draws a new portrait of femininity, in which dance becomes the language of a new form of solidarity.
PROPHÉTIQUE (ON EST DÉJÀ NÉ·ES)
n early memory…
I am a child, one of many children born to my father, a chief of a Muslim clan and respected by his community.
I’ve slipped into my father’s room without him realising. Sitting at his dressing table, pomades in front of him, he does his hair, thoughtful, vulnerable, helpless…
I am a child sleeping or pretending to sleep, aunts talking next to me saying I’m like that because my mother didn’t breastfeed me. I keep my eyes closed.
Later, I’ve grown up and become like that, my mother has already left us. I sometimes wonder whether she would have had me if she’d known I’d become like that…
Later still, a woman comes to see 10 000 Gestures by Boris Charmatz, a piece in which I dance in a G-string and bra, and she asks me after the show why I chose this “role”. Why is she asking me this question, me out of the twenty or so other performers on stage, and what “role” is she talking about? I realise that I’m missing something in the way people see me here in Europe. Perhaps the same year, I’m in Abidjan, out for a night drive, and find myself in a little place, a bar. The atmosphere’s electric, a stage is being put up with a set, and there are costumes and plenty of secret sparkle: my first encounter with the trans community. Secret divas on the dance floor by night, they’re the ones who look after other
people’s beauty by day; hairdressers and beauticians in the little salons around the markets. So what happens between day and night?
To people doing their shopping in Yopougon, they’re “queens”, forgetting that their wives, sisters and daughters have their hair braided every month in their colourful salons.
Ignoring of course the strength born out of madness and the incredible nerve it takes to find a way round the roles society imposes on all its members, from childhood to death.
Would my mother have had me?
In 2022, I decide to bring on stage the hairdressing salons of Yopougon, my father’s pomades, the roles: the ones you’re given and the ones you take, the ones you reject; and these girls on the margins, the “failures”, the ones who are rejected, the ones who are ignored, the ones who are embarrassing, the ones who shout, the ones who always show solidarity, the ones you desire out of the corner of your eye, the ones who invent their name, the ones who are on the fringes, the ones who burn like oil, the ones who take their place… no, the ones who make space, the magicians, the ones who read your palm to write tomorrow’s world. Prophetic?
- Nadia Beugré, Virginie Dupray
- April 2023
Presentation: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Le Rideau
Artistic direction: Nadia Beugré | Scenography: Jean-Christophe Lanquetin | Lighting design: Anthony Merlaud | Assistants to the artistic director: Christian Romain Kossa, Adonis Nebié | Performers: Beyoncé, Canel, Jhaya Caupenne, Taylor Dear, Acauã El Bandide Shereya, Kevin Kero
Production: Libr’Arts/Virginie Dupray | Coproduction: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Le Rideau, Montpellier Danse, Points Communs Cergy Pontoise, Holland Festival, CULTURESCAPES 2023 Sahara, ICI - Centre chorégraphique national Montpellier Occitanie / direction Christian Rizzo in the framework of Acceuil Studio, Fonds Transfabrik - Fonds franco-allemand pour le spectacle vivant, Tanz im August / HAU Hebbel am Ufer, La Place de la danse CDCN Toulouse Occitanie, théâtre Garonne scène européenne - Toulouse, Centre Pompidou Paris, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Spielart festival, Theater Freiburg, Africa Moment
Residencies: Montpellier Danse à l’Agora, La Place de la danse CDCN Toulouse Occitanie
With the support of: DRAC Occitanie - French Ministry of Culture and Communication | Thanks to: Ivoire Marionnettes Abidjan, French Institute Ivory Coast
Performances in Brussels with the support of the French Institute and the French Embassy in Belgium, in the frame of EXTRA