"The collaborative project with the National Performing Arts Center of Taipei was born during my first trip to Taiwan where company Käfig was performing the show Récital. I was captivated by the energy of the dancers that were sharing the stage with us that day. I thus decided to meet with a new culture both imbued with ancestral traditions and rooted in extreme modernity.
Encountering the “Other” is always a source of inspiration for me : whether with Chinese dancers for a piece’s transmission project, or with South African or Brazilian performers for a creation. The relationship to the “outsider” is necessarily and inherently different – the language barrier forces us to think differently, and body language therefore prevails over any other form of communication. The modesty and reserve one feels in front of this other are ultimately transcended by a new language: the gestures of bodies shaped and filled with cultures that enrich one another and are intertwined.
The language barrier brings me to rethink my relation to dancers, to music, to space.
The entrenchment I intend to stir up animates my creative process: I’m curious to find the fulcrum between the dance that characterizes me and the dance in Taiwan, as the bodies, the influences and the training inevitably differ from my experience.
The cast for this creation features Taiwanese and French performers. I rely on some close collaborators, but for the first time I work with a young designer I met in Taiwan. He stands out by creating costumes carved in wool and I have been impressed by his work. The costume as a constraint for the dancer’s gesture pushes me to find the rhythm elsewhere.
In doing so, I wish to trigger a new relation to movement and to set dance performance into another space."
"A moment that opens a door to new choreographic territory." The Financial Times
"Merzouki forged an extraordinary cross-cultural, genre-blending work, […] chockfull of evocative imagery and stunning theatrical effects." Dance International