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Creation in Bonlieu - Scène Nationale d'Annecy on March 4th 2008
A journey is often the opportunity to revisit, the moment to take stock of one’s identity or rather one’s identities. Those we have inherited, those we embody in the eyes of others and those we project to ourselves, that we try to emancipate. Whether national, economic, ethnic, minority, cultural, sexual, psychological or affective, a journey brings into question all of these layers of identity, which form new configurations throughout our movements. The different faces we have often result
from a negotiation between the legacy of the past and the identity that is being constructed in the present. It is during these movements that the feeling of being a FOREIGNER appears. Our assumed differences and our poor understanding of elsewhere create a place where we can rethink our perceptions. This crossroads of thought is the axis around which I have constructed this choreographic project.
During a recent journey to Vietnam and to Cambodgia, I discovered a new way to explore this feeling of being a foreigner. In a discussion about the violence of the conflicts that have torn these countries apart, I remembered the pages of my father’s military papers; my father, who was made to crush this Indochina of earlier times. As the discussion progressed, because of my French nationality, I realized that I was considered the son of a colonialist, even though what linked my father to Indochina was the legacy of another colonisation, that to his country, Algeria. Once again during
this conversation, it struck me that the upheavals and the devastation caused by the violence of armed conflict should lead us to reflect upon the image of the foreigner in many areas of th world.
In what way does the violence of armed conflict make us foreign? What sensitivity is born out of this violence?
These are the questions addressed in this itinerant project; a project that will trace the steps of a journey made more than 50 years ago.

Rachid Ouramdane
Conception and performance : Rachid Ouramdane
Music : Alexandre Meyer
Video: Aldo Lee
Lights : Pierre Leblanc
Costume and make up: La Bourette
Set : Sylvain Giraudeau
Realisation assistant : Erell Melscoët

Stage management and sound : Sylvain Giraudeau
Video management : Jacques Hoepffner
Lighting management : Stéphane Graillot

Production L’A.
Théâtre de la ville à Paris
Bonlieu, scène nationale d’Annecy
Biennale de la danse de Lyon
With the help of Le Fanal, scène nationale de Saint-Nazaire for the residency of création
With the support of Cultures France, Wonderful district à Hô-chi-minh – Vietnam, de L’Ambassade de France au Vietnam – L’Espace, Centre culturel à Hanoï et le service de coopération et d’action culturelle à Hô-Chi-Minh and the Théâtre de Gennevilliers.

Special thanks to : Fatima Ouramdane, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, Tam Vo Phi, Tiffany Chung, Anna Tuyen Tran, Chong Dai Vo, Richard Streitmatter-Tran, Sandrine Llouquet, Tran Cong, Tran Luong, Dinh Q. Lê, Zoé Butt, for their memories, theirs words and their silences, Bertrand Peret for his warm welcome, Armando Menicacci, Jacques Hoepfner and Benjamin Furbacco for their precious advices, for her advices, Sylvaine Van Den Esch and Vanina Sopsaisana for their assistances.
Interviews with Rachid Ouramdane for dance-tech.net:
About FAR at Dance Theater Workshop  New York, USA
Creation in Bonlieu - Scène Nationale d'Annecy on March 4th 2008

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About Ordinary Witnesses:

Creation in Bonlieu - Scène Nationale d'Annecy on May 27th 2009


Rachid Ouramdane, by Rosita Boisseau

« The choreographer Rachid Ouramdane likes to hide his face behind his masks. Whether under a clown’s make-up, behind a metallic sculpture or inside a motorbike crash helmet, the face, the mystery of the person, is concealed to focus the gaze elsewhere. According to the choreographer, though the mask is a way to display the myriad facets of his fragmented personality, he also maintains that one’s identity is a bottomless pit, an illusion to which the face gives a single interpretation. By altering the appearance, the mask enables the body to develop new strategies to exist in other ways and erases the contours that are too easy to read. Since the creation of the company ‘Association Fin Novembre’, cofounded with Julie Nioche, Rachid Ouramdane, who for many years interpreted the works of choreographers Odile Duboc, Hervé Robbe , Meg Stuart and Emmanelle Huynh, has tried to lift the veil of obviousness that covers everything. For this discreet man, the son of Algerians who sought refuge in silence, the words denied to his parents’ generation on the Algerian war of independence in an open wound that the stage allows him to soothe. In ‘Au bord des métaphores’ (2000), video was used to pulverize identities with the risk of becoming lost in surface effects. For ‘+ ou – là’ (2002), inspiration came from television and its icons, from the narcissism of the new media. Directly connected on the internet, in Les Morts pudiques (2004), a solo self-portrait fuelled by research on youth and death, life blood flowed through plastic tubes of pure medical beauty. The play on images, on signs, and on their ambivalence electrifies Rachid Ouramdane’s performances, often comparable to secret ceremonies for mutants who’ve broken free. For example, in Cover (2005), a precious monochrome created after a series of visits to Brazil, men painted from head to toe in gold paint circle the stage, contemporary idols sucked into the twilight with no return. »  
                                                   Panorama de la danse contemporaine, Editions Textuel, 2006


Prior to founding the L’A. association in 2007 – a site for artistic exploration of contemporary identity – choreographer Rachid Ouramdane had collaborated with artists such as Emmanuelle Huynh, Odile Duboc, Hervé Robbe, Meg Stuart, Catherine Contour, Christian Rizzo, Jeremy Nelson, Alain Buffard, and choreographer Julie Nioche, with whom he co-founded the Fin Novembre association in 1996. From the start, Rachid Ouramdane’s projects have exemplified the conceptual upheaval taking place in the realm of dance since the mid-90s. Following in Ouramdane’s footsteps, artists have been reassessing the definitions of “performer” and “choreographer”, and questioning modes of producing and circulating artwork. The nature of his work has led to collaboration with institutions that traditionally focus on the visual arts (the FRAC Champagne/Ardennes in 2001 within the framework of his residency at the Manège de Reims from 2000 to 2004), and to a residency from 2005 to 2007 at the Ménagerie de Verre in Paris, a multidisciplinary space dedicated to contemporary artistic output. Very quickly, Rachid Ouramdane’s shows integrated video as a springboard for thinking about body-memory. The key element of each show is a unique encounter, resulting in an original artistic approach. Founding L’A in 2007 was a turning point for his work, which now aims to blur the boundaries between dance and documentary. It was in this period that he began his residency at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers, in parallel to his ongoing association with the Bonlieu-Scène Nationale d’Annecy as of 2005 and become associated to Théâtre de la Ville de Paris in 2010.


Alongside his creative projects, Rachid Ouramdane is actively involved in dialogue and pedagogy. He is regularly invited in France and abroad to lead artistic workshops and to moderate international encounters with artists (Russia, Romania, Holland, Brazil, the U.S...).


What can dance do that history books can’t? 


"History books may supply documents and facts, but this has nothing to do with our experience." Rachid Ouramdane hears this statement time and again when pursuing the traces of military violence. What is the nature of the gap between personal experience and official history? What can dance do that history books can’t?

These questions are pivotal for someone bent on conveying the collective by way of the individual. They are questions that have been kindling Rachid Ouramdane’s choreography over the past 13 years and spanning 15 shows. The same questions propelled the association Fin Novembre, co-founded with Julie Nioche in 1996, and are now being developed through the company L’A., founded in 2007. Whether dealing with recent geographic upheaval, population movements or changes triggered by new technologies, the focal point of Ouramdane’s work is contemporary identity. He creates onstage transformation of live testimonials, for the most part gathered beyond the confines of dance studios: such as in the 2001 show De Arbitre à Zébra with the community of wrestlers and boxers from the city of Reims, or in the 2007 show Surface de réparation with 12 young athletes from the city of Gennevilliers. Ouramdane concocts series of “choreographic portraits” that delve into the undercurrents between individuals and their practices. The aim is not to beautify the practice at hand, but rather to “dancify” it by offering a new “montage”. 

The term “montage” aptly describes an approach to dance that encompasses sound-space, lighting design and video tools. The show Au bord des métaphores (1999) launched this onstage friction between bodies and their video-captures. Next came + ou – Là (2002), which questioned “TV grammar”, followed by  Les morts pudiques (2004), which explored youth and death based on history fragments culled from the Net. All of his shows share similar underpinnings: depiction of a body pierced by other people’s history, bodies that bear the imprint of history’s spasms and the living memory of adjacent tremors. Each of these bodies grapples with space by way of video screens, much like windows onto the outer world, bodily extensions or glimmers of absence. Rachid Ouramdane probes the polyphony of body-archives, where bodies are often faceless – via helmets, hoods, clown makeup and other sorts of identity-blurring masks. The recurrence of the identity issue  - whether social, geographical or cultural -  echoes the second-generation immigrant experience. Ouramdane’s Algerian born parents immigrated to France, and this “third identity” imbues his work and has yielded the 2008 semi-autobiographical solo Loin... 

In his recent projects, Rachid Ouramdane has been joining forces with documentary-makers, and radicalizing his examination of the boundaries between dance and documentary. 


L’A. / Rachid Ouramdane receives the support of Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication / DRAC Île-de-France, of Conseil Régional d’Île-de-France and of ’Institut français for its international projects

The main theaters in which we perform...
Théâtre de la Ville - Paris, Bonlieu-Scène Nationale - Annecy, Festival d’Avignon, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Théâtre de Gennevilliers, Festival d’Athènes, Biennale de la danse de Lyon, Festival Montpellier Danse, Tanz im August - Berlin, Kaaitheater - Bruxelles, Halles de Schaerbeeck - Bruxelles, Festival Panorama - Rio de Janeiro, Centre National de la Danse, MC2 Grenoble, Southbank Center Londres, Centre Georges Pompidou, Festival de Liège, Opéra de Lyon, Festival Latitudes Contemporaines, Pôle Sud - Strasbourg, Théâtre Forum - Meyrin, Teatro Central - Séville,  Festival Crossing the Line - New York, DTW - New York, TBA - Portland, Springdance Festival - Utrecht, Tanzquartier - Vienne, Theater der Welt, Dublin Dance Festival, TU Nantes, Sadler’s Well - Londres, Wexner Center for The Arts - Colombus, Le Quai - Angers

Association and residency
Association with Théâtre de la Ville de Paris since September 2010 (first choreographer associated to Théâtre de la Ville since 1991).


Ménagerie de Verre à Paris from 2005 to 2007.

Residency in Théâtre de Gennevilliers from 2007 to 2010 (first choreographr in residency in a "Centre dramatique national").

Association with Bonlieu, Scène nationale d’Annecy since 2005.

Residency in Scène nationale - Le Manège de Reims from 2000 to 2004.

International :

Participation in the frame of Intradance, Europe-Russie collaboration programm : creation in situ in Kirov (Russia).

Participation in the frame of «Colaboratorio» international residency in Rio de Janeiro - Brazil.

Regular participation in internationals events of french dance (FranceDanse Nouvelle Zélande, FranceDanse Europe, FranceDanse Asie 2007, Focus Danse 2008, French Move 2005, La Francia si muovo 2004...).

Artist associated to Festival Klapstuk in Belgium in 2005.




Thanks to Rachid Ouramdane for his willingness to participate in this project and continue researching contemporary identities with dance



This piece is presented by courtesy of Rachid Ouramdane and partially supported by dance-tech.net 2011 partners:










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More about Choreography or ELSE


“to come” is Mette Ingvartsen’s third group work and was developed together with the performers. Working on notions of pleasure and desire, they question how bodies perform as part of a group, as part of an intimate relation, or as the part of being individual. When is the body in a state/space where it is governed by its desires and what kind of social situations contain such governing? It is a rethinking of how  bodies can connect and reconnect so that new forms of enjoyment can arise. “to come” proposes an excessive body of pleasure, an overexcitement of speed and vibration  produced by sensual figures. Colors and surfaces mix with a sensation of rhythmic pulsing.

To Come is a © Mette Ingvartsen 2005
This work is shown here with as courtesy of the artists with educational purposes.

Mette Ingsvarsten is the 6th featured artist of the dance-tech.tv on-line series Choreography or ELSE: Contemporary Experiments on the Performance of Motion (launched in January 2011) presenting complete works on-line of relevant international choreographers.


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Choreography or ELSE presents:

While We Were Holding It Together


Ivana Müller

In While We Were Holding It Together, a tribute to the power of the imagination, Ivana Müller subjects notions of body and mind, and the relationship between the two, to a closer inspection. This results in a poetic, humoristic and philosophical production that draws the audience into Müller’s clear logic. While We Were Holding It Together creates images in becoming, always changing, depending on who is looking. Is it a rock band on tour? A picnic in the forest? A hotel room in Bangkok? We look, imagine and re-invent while searching for what is hidden and for what we want to see.

Created in 2006, the piece has been shown more than 70 times in festivals and venues in Europe, the United States and Asia. In 2007, While We Were Holding It Together won two prizes at Impulse Festival (DE). The jury of this internationally renowned festival awarded the performance with the first prize for the best off-theater production as well as the prize of the Goethe Institute.

The piece was also nominated for the 2007 VSCD mime-prize, which is the annual prize of the collaboration of Dutch theaters and concert halls for the best show of the year in the category of physical theater.

The piece exists in the original English version and, since November 2008, also in a French version.


Concept, direction: Ivana Müller

Performance: Katja Dreyer/Sarah van Lamsweerde/ Albane Aubry, Pere Faura/Ricardo Santana/ Arnaud Cabias, Karen Røise Kielland/ Hester van Hasselt/Anne Lenglet, Stefan Rokebrand/Jobst Schnibbe/ Geert Vaes/ Sébastien Chatelier, Jefta van Dinther/Bill Aitchison/ Julien Fallée – Ferré

Text : Ivana Müller, Bill Aitchison, Katja Dreyer, Pere Faura, Karen Røise Kielland, Stefan Rokebrand, Jefta Dinther.
Artistic advice : Bill Aitchison
Sound design : Steve Heather
Light design & technics : Martin Kaffarnik

While We Were Holding It Together is produced by LISA and I’M’COMPANY, in co-production with Sophiensaele Berlin (DE), Productiehuis Rotterdam / Rotterdamse Schouwburg (NL), Dubbelspel (30CC and STUK Kunstencentrum Leuven, BE).

This project is financially supported by the Nederlands Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten and the Mondriaan Stichting.



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About the Artist:


Ivana Müller is a choreographer, artist and author of texts. She grew up in Croatia but most of her life lived and worked as a foreigner.

Müller’s dance and theatre performances, installations, text works, video-lectures, audio pieces, guided tours and web works have been presented in venues and festivals such as Rotterdamse Schouwburg, STUK Leuven, brut Vienna, Frascati Theater Amsterdam, Kampnagel Hamburg, La Villette Paris, Wiener Festwochen, Theatertreffen Berlin, DTW New York, National Museum of Singapore, Saddler’s Wells London, Springdance Festival Utrecht, HAU Berlin, Centre nationale de danse Paris,  Kaaitheater Brussels (for a more extensive list of works and  venues please look at the page WORKS).

Some of the recurring subjects in Müller’s work are body and it’s representation, self-invention, place of imaginary and imagination, notion of authorship and the relationship between performer and spectator.

In 2007 Müller received the Charlotte Koehler Prize from the Prins Bernhard Funds (NL) for her œuvre, as well as Impulse Festival and Goethe Institute Prize for her piece While We Were Holding It Together.

Ivana Müller is one of the founding members of LISA (2004 – 2009), a collaborative production and discursive platform based in Amsterdam.

Ivana Müller lives in Paris and Amsterdam and works internationally.




Maaike Bleeker: Thinking Through Theatre
Published in Deleuze and Performance.
Edited by Laura Cull, Edinburgh University Press, 2009

Maaike Bleeker. “You Better Think!. Het denk-theater van Ivana Müller en Carly Wijsz/Ryszart Turbiasz” in:
Theater Topics 2: De Maker als onderzoeker.
Edited by Maaike Bleeker, Lucia van Heteren, Chiel Kattenbelt and Kees Vuyk. Amsterdam University Press,  2006

Jörg Huber/Gesa Zimer/Simon Zumsteg: Archipele des Imaginären
Institut für Theorie(ith) und Voldemeer AG, Zürich
Springer-Verlag Wien New York, 2009

Ramsay Burt: History, Memory, and the Virtual in Current European Dance Practice
Published in:  Dance Chronicle, Volume 32, Issue 3 September 2009 , pages 442 – 467 http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a916957751&db=all

Working Titles – etcetera (in Dutch)

Working Titles -  der Standard

Working Titles – Trouw

Working Titles – Corpus

Working Titles – Volkskrant

Playing Ensemble Again And Again – Ballet-Tanz International

Playing Ensemble Again And Again – Volkskrant

While We Were Holding It Together - Theatercentraal

While We Were Holding It Together - Rotterdams Dagblad

While We Were Holding It Together - de Morgen

While We Were Holding It Together - radio Klara

While We Were Holding It Together - Inktpot

Jonas Rutgeerts: Onteigende beelden (in Flemish)

Under My Skin – De Standaard

Laura Karreman: ‘There Is More To This Place Than Meets The Eye

Under My Skin – De Tijd

How Heavy Are My Thoughts – De Morgen

Laura Karreman: Gewichtige Gedachten (in Dutch)

How Heavy Are My Thoughts – Volume

How Heavy Are My Thoughts – Vjesnik

Ivana Müller: Thoughts Spectacle

Ivana Müller: Letter to Bojana For The Conference On Future


interview for dance-tech.net

interview Novi List

















This piece is presented by courtesy of Ivana Muller and partially supported by dance-tech.net 2011 partners:










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One poor and one 0 by BADco. (Croatia)

World premiere: 17.-19.10.2008 @ 19:30 Dom im Berg, Graz

In 1 poor and one 0 BADco. returns to the scene of the first film ever shot – Workers Leaving The Lumiere Factory: the factory gates. The first moving images ever made show workers leaving their workplace. The movement of the workforce from the place of industrial work into the world of film: the starting point for the problematic relationship between cinema and the portrayal of work.

From its outset cinema tended to leave the manual labor out of the picture, focusing rather on atomized stories of individual workers once they have left their workplace: their romances, their transgressions, their destinies in the course of world events. Cinema starts where work ends.

Starting from these initial images, 1 poor and one 0 sets about exploring the multiple ways of leaving the work behind. What happens when you get tired? When is the work we devote ourselves to exhausted? What comes after work? More work? What happens when there is no more work? What is the complicity between the history of contemporary dance and the history of post-industrialization?

1 poor and one 0 is a twofold performance: while the performers develop the manifold forms of dissolution of the working subject before the audience, the audience is slowly drawn into a process of transformation: from the popular medium of cinema to the political theater of populism. Theater exhausted in moving images, images exhausted in the theater of movement. A change of perspective.

Directors: Tomislav Medak & Goran Sergej Pristaš
Authors and performers: Pravdan Devlahović, Ivana Ivković, Aleksandra Janeva Imfeld, Ana Kreitmeyer, Tomislav Medak, Goran Sergej Pristaš, Nikolina Pristaš, Zrinka Užbinec
Dramaturgy: Ivana Ivković
Stage: Slaven Tolj
Costume design: Silvio Vujičić
Video: Ana Hušman
Light design: Alan Vukelić
Sound design: Ivan Marušić-Klif
Sound technician: Jasmin Dasović

Company manager: Lovro Rumiha

Inspired by the work of Auguste and Lois Lumiere, Samuel Beckett, Vlado Kristl, Jean-Luc Godard and Harun Farocki.

Coproducers: Steirischer Herbst, University of Zagreb – Student center – Theatre &TD

Supported by: Zagreb City Council for Education, Culture and Sport; Ministry of Culture of Republic of Croatia




First the body. No. First the place. No. First both. Now either. Now the other. Sick of the either try the other. Sick of it back sick of the either. So on. Somehow on. Till sick of both. Throw up and go. Where neither. Till sick of there. Throw up and back. The body again. Where none. The place again. Where none. Try again. Fail again. Better again. Or better worse. Fail worse again. Still worse again. Till sick for good. Throw up for good. Go for good. Where neither for good. Good and all.
– Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho, 1983


Little by little we are replaced … by uninterrupted chain of images, enslaving one another, each image at its place, as each of us, at our place, in the chain of events on which we have lost all power.
– Dziga Vertov Group, Here And Elsewhere, 1972

This circulation of value in the cinema-spectator nexus is itself productive of value because looking is a form of labor.
– Johnathan Beller, Cinema, Capital of the 20th Century, 1994

The first camera in the history of cinema was pointed at a factory, but a century later it can be said that film is hardly drawn to the factory and is even repelled by it. Films about work or workers have not become one of the main genres, and the space in front of the factory has remained on the sidelines. Most narrative films take place in that part of life where work has been left behind… In the Lumière film of 1895 it is possible to discover that the workers were assembled behind the gates and surged out at the camera operator’s command. Before the film direction stepped in to condense the subject, it was the industrial order which synchronized the lives of the many individuals.
– Harun Farocki, Workers Leaving the Factory, 2001

Interview with vana Ivković and Tomislav Medak at the Balkan Dance Platform 2009, Novi Sad, Serbia



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