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Grec. Festival de Barcelona


A play by Nadia Beugré


Nadia Beugré, a choreographer from Côte d'Ivoire particularly concerned with gender-linked injustice, presents an athletic choreography, full of energy, which brings to the stage the shared legacy of women from across the continent.

A while back, at the Mercat de les Flors, we saw Quartiers Libres (prize for the best solo in the Dance category of the 22nd Premios de la Crítica), a piece the artist used to speak to us about struggle, freedom of expression and submission by looking at which public arenas were off-limits to African women and the lines they dared not cross. The words ‘struggle’, ‘woman’ and ‘freedom’ are the essential units of language that this artist employs in her most recent creation, Legacy.

With this works, the iconic choreography again makes reference to the women of Cote d’Ivoire and the legacies they carry with them, inspired by episodes from history, like the ‘Women’s March’ in Grand-Bassam, former French colonial capital located in the south-east of the country. It was there where in 1949 several militants from an anti-colonial movement were jailed without any form of trial. Around 500 women, including the wives of those detained, undertook a march to call for their freedom, but French soldiers who still controlled the country arrested and beat up the demonstrators mercilessly. Today, those women are a guiding light, an image of the continent’s women, a little like Pokou, a Ghanaian princess who, according to legend, led a group of Ashanti to settle in the Cote d’Ivoire and who, in order to lead her subjects to a safe place, had to sacrifice her own son. All those women who raised up their voices and paid the price for doing so, those who had to sacrifice what they loved most, now take to the stage reincarnated in the dancers who represent the power and legacy of the continent’s women.

To prepare the staging of the choreography, Nadia Beugré, the artist, will organise a workshop in advance with the participation of women from Barcelona, a process in which the playwright Aïda Colmenero Dïaz will take part. These women will then participate in the show.

Nadia Beugré (Cote d’Ivoire) is an essential figure on the African contemporary scene as a creative woman, known for the transgression of her work. Born into a Muslim family and the 13th daughter of a father with five wives, she formed part, together with the now deceased dancer and choreographer, Béatrice Kombe, from the TchéTché company, the prize-winning dance collective formed by women who took their name from the word in the Bété language (spoken in Central and Western Cote d’Ivoire), which means ‘eagle’, alluding to the group’s ambition, energy and desire to fly high. At the same time, Beugré created her own choreography before joining French choreographer Mathilde Monier at Ex.e.r.ce (Centre Choréographique National de Montpellier) to train emerging choreographers, where she began to create Quartiers Libres. Nadia Beugré is currently associate artist at the Kunstencentrum Vooruit de Gante, Belgium.

On stage, we will see Nadia dancing with Hanna Hedman, a performer trained at the Royal Swedish Ballet School of Stockholm. Hedman has worked as a dancer, performer and assistant to great names in dance and has created her own choreography, like the piece California Roll (seen at the Tanz im August Festival in Berlin), in collaboration with Isabelle Schad and Good Word Productions. The piece is set to music by Manou Gallo, a musical performer who moves to the rhythm of Afrobeat, although as a child she fascinated everyone by playing traditional percussion. Gallo brings us African music in a very inventive and modern way, drawing inspiration from Ivorian culture but combining soul, funk and blues, with groove as a common denominator, to create a warm and global music full of emotion.


Cast and production team
Choreographer: Nadia Beugré Performers: Nadia Beugré, Hanna Hedman, with the participation of women from Barcelona Music performed by: Manou Gallo Artistic advisor and sound manager: Boris Hennion Lighting and stage design: Erik Houllier Stage management and lighting: Anthony Merlaud Accompanying the work with women in Barcelona: Aïda Colmenero Distribution in Spain and Portugal: Africa Moment International tour management: Studios Kabako / Virginie Dupray Associate producer: Latitudes Prod.


Coproduced by Centre Chorégraphique National de Roubaix; Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier; FUSED French US Exchange in Dance; Festival dAutomne à Paris; La Bâtie Festival de Genève; théâtre Garonne Scène européenne (Toulouse); BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen); House on Fire, with support from the EU; Festival dAvignon Sujets à vif / SACD; Le Théâtre de Nîmes ; Fabrik Postdam (Germany); Le Parvis Scène nationale de Tarbes-Pyrénées

In partnership with Théâtre de la Cité internationale; Festival dAutomne à Paris

With support from DRAC Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

This activity is part of Grec 2021, Grec. Festival de Barcelona

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