© Agathe Poupeney
A mind-blowing mix of virtuoso hip-hop dance with cutting-edge digital projection.
In the UAE premiere of PIXEL, bodies and images merge in a 3D landscape at the border of virtual and real, to create a world of poetry and dreams at the crossroads of the arts. Created in 2014 and seen now in around 100 different cities around the world, PIXEL features dazzling choreography by the extraordinary Mourad Merzouki, with cutting-edge digital projection by Adrien M and Claire B.
“The virtual projections are not mere stage effects, but partners for the performers, who navigate and negotiate the poetic digital terrain in a suspended reality that feels resonant with contemporary life. Pixel offers a tantalizing glimpse of the exciting possibilities of interactive performance.” – Slate.com
Watch the official video
“...absolutely astounding. This has never been done on stage before. Dancers are performing in a 3D-digital set that changes depending their movements, on a floor that sometimes shifts under their feet or in front of a big screen. They achieve aerial and acrobatic feats. Not only are hip hop dancers part of the show, but also circus artists…The audience was literally in ecstasy during the curtain calls!” – France Inter
“We use images as trompe l’oeils. We want to deform perception, blur the lines between what is true and what is false, cross the daily boundaries of reality, and reveal things that are not “possible”. We want to modify, distort and offset our relationship to time and space, just like a hip-hop dancer with his or her body. It is at that point of junction that the performance was born: the quest for illusion.”
- Claire Bardainne & Adrien Mondot
About Mourad Merzouki – Artistic direction and choreography
A major figure on the hip-hop scene since the early 1990s, choreographer Mourad Merzouki works at the junction of many different disciplines. To his exploration of all hip-hop styles, he adds circus, martial arts, fine arts, video and live music. Without losing sight of hip-hop movement’s roots, of its social and geographical origins, this multidisciplinary approach opens up new horizons and reveals complete new outlooks.
Since 1996, 27 creations have been performed in more than 700 cities. In the past 20 years, Compagnie Käfig has given over 2800 performances in 58 countries for more than 1 million people. The company gives an average of 140 performances a year worldwide.
About Adrien Mondot & Claire Bardainne
The Adrien M/ Claire B Company creates many forms of art, from stage performances to exhibitions combining digital arts with live performing arts. The company is co-directed by Claire Bardainne and Adrien Mondot. They place the human body at the heart of technological stakes, with the specificity of developing and customizing their own IT tools. The company operates as a research and creativity workshop, looking for a live digital world: mobile, organic, ephemeral, random, sensory.
About Armand Amar – Music
French of Moroccan origin, born in Jerusalem, Armand Amar was soon fascinated by extra-European music. Autodidact, he learned to play tablas, zarb and congas, and studied under various masters of traditional and classical music. Through the discovery of dance in the 1970s, he found a direct relationship to music, the power to improvise freely, the advantages of authentic, on-the-spot exchanges. Since then he has worked with various choreographers from the different branches of contemporary dance, such as Marie-Claude Pietragalla, Carolyn Carlson, Francesca Lattuada, or Russell Maliphant.
The Centre Chorégraphique National de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne / Compagnie Käfig – directed by Mourad Merzouki is funded by the Ile-de-France Regional Cultural Affairs Office – Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Val-de-Marne Department and the City of Créteil.
Presented in cooperation with Institut français in the UAE / Cultural Department of the French Embassy
This is a past event
Bruno Boudjelal: Frantz Fanon
Exhibition in The Project Space – By the NYUAD Art Gallery.
Thursday, Sep 7 @ 6pm. The Project Space. Click here for more info.
The Rise of Hip-Hop
Choreographer, Mourad Merzouki, explores the rise of hip-hop in the French performing arts scene with video clips from Compagnie Käfig’s 20 year history in dance.
Thursday, Sep 7 @ 7pm. The Blue Hall. No ticket required.
Opening Night Dance Party
Institut français in the UAE / Cultural Department of the French Embassy and The Arts Center present DJ Djel From Fonky Family
Thursday, Sep 7 @ 9:30pm. The Black Box – Separate ticket required. Click here for more info.
Get to know more about PIXEL – Compagnie Käfig
See the study guide. Click here
- Artistic Direction and Choreography: Mourad Merzouki
- Digital Production: Adrien Mondot & Claire Bardainne
- Music Design: Armand Amar
- Executive Producer: CCN de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne / Compagnie Käfig
- Co-Producers: Maison des Arts de Créteil, Espace Albert Camus – Bron
- With the support of Compagnie Adrien M / Claire B
Besides video projections, I wanted Armand Amar’s music to fit closely to the choreography and the images, like a warmer invitation to travel. Accompanying the performers, his music brings out the energy as well as the poetry lying in the dancer’s body.
Those new discovery paths allow me to work on this extension of reality and to face a synthetic world, which is odd for a choreographer who feeds off bodies and material. Inhabiting dance in a space where the body only faces dreams, developing gestures in moving landscapes created by Adrien M and Claire B.
I wanted to open up the way where the synthetic world of digital projection interacts with the dancer’s reality. Each artist has playfully immersed in an unknown world, with a sharing mind, relying on hip-hop virtuosity and energy, mixing up poetry and dreams, to create a show at the crossroads of arts.“
Mourad Merzouki – November 2014
Classical bharatanatyam meets digital projection in Written in Water, which brings the Indian board game, Paramapadam (Snakes & Ladders), to vivid life. With a live score that interweaves maqam with Carnatic music, the choreography unfolds upon large-scale projections of original paintings by Chennai-based visual artist Keshav.
An epic evening of the complete Bach concertos for two, three and four pianos performed by masters and prodigies from the esteemed Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, Belgium. Part of The Abu Dhabi Festival Recital Series.
A concert exploring different types of audiovisual relationships between live and pre-recorded music, and live and pre-recorded video.