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Since being appointed director of the Centre Chorégraphique National de Créteil et du Val-de Marne in 2009, Merzouki developed a project called “Dance: a window on the world.” He continues to create and show his works, provide training and raise awareness about hip-hop dance, organize unique encounters to promote access to the choreographic arts, and support independent dance groups. Throughout his career, his goal has remained the same—to introduce a diverse audience to the expanding art and message of hiphop, oftentimes through humor.

David M. Rubenstein Chairman Michael M. Kaiser President Darrell M. Ayers Vice President, Education This tour of Compagnie Käfig is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support for Performances for Young Audiences is provided by Adobe Foundation, The Clark Charitable Foundation; Mr. James V. Kimsey; The Macy’s Foundation; The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Park Foundation, Inc.; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; an endowment from the Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation; U.S. Department of Education; Washington Gas; and by generous contributors to the Abe Fortas Memorial Fund and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas.

Compagnie Käfig/ CCN Creteil et Val-de-Marne

Performance Guide

Born in Lyon, France, Mourad Merzouki began studying martial and circus arts as a very young boy. At age 15, he discovered hip-hop and began to explore street dance while also experimenting with other dance styles. In 1996, Merzouki established Compagnie Käfig, taking the name from his first choreographed work.

Cuesheet

Meet Mourad Merzouki

Working Rehearsal

Mourad Merzouki, Artistic Director

Major support for educational programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein through the Rubenstein Arts Access Program. Education and related artistic programs are made possible through the generosity of the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts. International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.

www.kennedy-center.org/artsedge Cuesheets are produced by ARTSEDGE, an education program of the Kennedy Center. Learn more about education at the Kennedy Center at www.kennedy-center.org/education

The plastic cups in Agwa are separated and stacked together in interesting ways.

The contents of this Cuesheet have been developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. © 2014 The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Performances for Young Audiences is made possible by


Dance That Defies Definition The word käfig means “cage” in German and in Arabic, but Compagnie Käfig (pronounced kohm-pa-NEE Kah-FEEG) doesn’t fit neatly into any sort of container. You’ll see how Artistic Director and choreographer Mourad Merzouki (MOREahd Merh-ZOO-kee) creatively blends a variety of movement styles, including hip-hop, a Brazilian martial art form called capoiera (kap-oo-AIR-uh), contemporary dance, and a healthy dose of circus-like spectacle. Sound interesting? It is! Here’s some history: Back in 2006, Merzouki met 11 Brazilian street dancers at a festival in his native France. He was inspired by the stories of how hip-hop had helped these young men find a positive expression for their energy, and a way out of Rio de Janeiro’s shanty towns, or favelas. “These young dancers…were dancing to express themselves, to exist, to survive,” according to Merzouki. He created Agwa and Correria especially for them. Hip-hop meets circus stunts as performers jump and back flip through cups of water in Agwa.

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Agwa Choreography by Mourad Merzouki n

Agwa means “water” in Portuguese. This dance celebrates this natural resource as a life-giving force—essential to our existence and important to conserve. In Agwa, Merzouki utilizes hip-hop moves and acrobatic stunts. Watch for: n

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Popping—movements accentuated by contractions of isolated muscles in the arms and legs (such as jerking your arms like an ocean wave to the beat) Locking—extending arms or legs outward from the torso and briefly snapping them into held positions (locking arms at sharp angles, for example) to accent the rhythm of the music The Windmill—dancers spinning on their backs, whipping their legs in a circular motion above them

Circus Stunts—acrobatic moves where dancers balance their bodies on other dancers in a show of strength The Head Spin—a dancer balancing on the top of his or her head and spinning. (Look for the amazing head spin at the end of Agwa!)

Correria Choreography by Mourad Merzouki

This Portuguese word means “running,” and the dancers do just that. The frantic movement in Correria is a reflection of the fast pace (or race) of our modern life. Merzouki takes the idea of running, adds a soundscape that includes a variety of music including Brazilian bossa nova (a type of samba music), electronic music, and even opera. Watch and listen for: n

n

n

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Use of rhythm—dancers beating their hands on the floor sounding like a flurry of feet Use of lighting effects—how some dancers are highlighted while others are almost invisible Different moods—how dancers appear lighthearted and then they struggle to break free from restraints Variations on a theme—dancers running while lifted off the floor, others who run in slow motion, and someone who runs sideways

Lighting and clever costuming make this dancer in Correria appear to be defying gravity as he runs upside down.

Use of Props Compagnie Käfig utilizes props on stage in a way not often seen in dance performances. Watch how hundreds of plastic cups create a beautifully simple set design at the beginning of Agwa, and then are scattered, stacked, and carried sideways to make a long, undulating plastic snake. At the end of the dance, the cups are thrown across the floor, like litter for landfills, posing the question of how people will ultimately protect our planet and water supply. In Correria, dancers hold sticks with wooden shoes attached. These “fake legs” make the hectic running of this dance look even busier by amplifying the amount of stepping and bicycling of feet that takes place.

All photos: ©Michel Cavalca


Dance That Defies Definition The word käfig means “cage” in German and in Arabic, but Compagnie Käfig (pronounced kohm-pa-NEE Kah-FEEG) doesn’t fit neatly into any sort of container. You’ll see how Artistic Director and choreographer Mourad Merzouki (MOREahd Merh-ZOO-kee) creatively blends a variety of movement styles, including hip-hop, a Brazilian martial art form called capoiera (kap-oo-AIR-uh), contemporary dance, and a healthy dose of circus-like spectacle. Sound interesting? It is! Here’s some history: Back in 2006, Merzouki met 11 Brazilian street dancers at a festival in his native France. He was inspired by the stories of how hip-hop had helped these young men find a positive expression for their energy, and a way out of Rio de Janeiro’s shanty towns, or favelas. “These young dancers…were dancing to express themselves, to exist, to survive,” according to Merzouki. He created Agwa and Correria especially for them. Hip-hop meets circus stunts as performers jump and back flip through cups of water in Agwa.

n

Agwa Choreography by Mourad Merzouki n

Agwa means “water” in Portuguese. This dance celebrates this natural resource as a life-giving force—essential to our existence and important to conserve. In Agwa, Merzouki utilizes hip-hop moves and acrobatic stunts. Watch for: n

n

n

Popping—movements accentuated by contractions of isolated muscles in the arms and legs (such as jerking your arms like an ocean wave to the beat) Locking—extending arms or legs outward from the torso and briefly snapping them into held positions (locking arms at sharp angles, for example) to accent the rhythm of the music The Windmill—dancers spinning on their backs, whipping their legs in a circular motion above them

Circus Stunts—acrobatic moves where dancers balance their bodies on other dancers in a show of strength The Head Spin—a dancer balancing on the top of his or her head and spinning. (Look for the amazing head spin at the end of Agwa!)

Correria Choreography by Mourad Merzouki

This Portuguese word means “running,” and the dancers do just that. The frantic movement in Correria is a reflection of the fast pace (or race) of our modern life. Merzouki takes the idea of running, adds a soundscape that includes a variety of music including Brazilian bossa nova (a type of samba music), electronic music, and even opera. Watch and listen for: n

n

n

n

Use of rhythm—dancers beating their hands on the floor sounding like a flurry of feet Use of lighting effects—how some dancers are highlighted while others are almost invisible Different moods—how dancers appear lighthearted and then they struggle to break free from restraints Variations on a theme—dancers running while lifted off the floor, others who run in slow motion, and someone who runs sideways

Lighting and clever costuming make this dancer in Correria appear to be defying gravity as he runs upside down.

Use of Props Compagnie Käfig utilizes props on stage in a way not often seen in dance performances. Watch how hundreds of plastic cups create a beautifully simple set design at the beginning of Agwa, and then are scattered, stacked, and carried sideways to make a long, undulating plastic snake. At the end of the dance, the cups are thrown across the floor, like litter for landfills, posing the question of how people will ultimately protect our planet and water supply. In Correria, dancers hold sticks with wooden shoes attached. These “fake legs” make the hectic running of this dance look even busier by amplifying the amount of stepping and bicycling of feet that takes place.

All photos: ©Michel Cavalca


Since being appointed director of the Centre Chorégraphique National de Créteil et du Val-de Marne in 2009, Merzouki developed a project called “Dance: a window on the world.” He continues to create and show his works, provide training and raise awareness about hip-hop dance, organize unique encounters to promote access to the choreographic arts, and support independent dance groups. Throughout his career, his goal has remained the same—to introduce a diverse audience to the expanding art and message of hiphop, oftentimes through humor.

David M. Rubenstein Chairman Michael M. Kaiser President Darrell M. Ayers Vice President, Education This tour of Compagnie Käfig is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support for Performances for Young Audiences is provided by Adobe Foundation, The Clark Charitable Foundation; Mr. James V. Kimsey; The Macy’s Foundation; The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Park Foundation, Inc.; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; an endowment from the Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation; U.S. Department of Education; Washington Gas; and by generous contributors to the Abe Fortas Memorial Fund and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas.

Compagnie Käfig/ CCN Creteil et Val-de-Marne

Performance Guide

Born in Lyon, France, Mourad Merzouki began studying martial and circus arts as a very young boy. At age 15, he discovered hip-hop and began to explore street dance while also experimenting with other dance styles. In 1996, Merzouki established Compagnie Käfig, taking the name from his first choreographed work.

Cuesheet

Meet Mourad Merzouki

Working Rehearsal

Mourad Merzouki, Artistic Director

Major support for educational programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by David and Alice Rubenstein through the Rubenstein Arts Access Program. Education and related artistic programs are made possible through the generosity of the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts. International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.

www.kennedy-center.org/artsedge Cuesheets are produced by ARTSEDGE, an education program of the Kennedy Center. Learn more about education at the Kennedy Center at www.kennedy-center.org/education

The plastic cups in Agwa are separated and stacked together in interesting ways.

The contents of this Cuesheet have been developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. © 2014 The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Performances for Young Audiences is made possible by


Compagnie Käfig Working Rehearsal