Mickaël Phelippeau’s practice is the result of an artistic career that has always walked the line between visual arts and choreography. For more than ten years, he has concentrated his research on the “bi-portrait” project, which allowed him to meet people from all walks of life.

“On February 18th, I went to Nyon to run a workshop for undocumented migrants. Some of them would later obtain a residence permit or a visa, while others would be deported across various borders, some further away than others. The workshop was to begin at 10 am and last two hours. I was a bit nervous. I wondered what choreography could contribute to a context where reality was reduced to little more than a question of survival. Standing before a group of people for whom every moment is pure instability – what good is dance?
11:00: No one’s here! I’m resigned to the situation, telling myself I understand them. 11:10: a group of fifteen bright-eyed, smiling men enter the studio.
We begin. I suggest we introduce ourselves and pass dances on to one another. At that point, there’s an outbreak of fireworks, singing, traditions, grappling, laughter, pride, screaming, and hand-holding. That day, a project was born.
Among these men is Jutyar Ali, a young Kurdish refugee from Iraq. Today, he works on a farm near Nyon. I am so impressed with his joie de vivre, his way of pulling men over to him by their shoulders, his energy, his singing – which he plays for us over his phone. Since then, despite the distance, we have remained in touch writing to each other using an automatic Kurdish-French translator.

This project with Jutyar reflects the complexity of his experience.”

— Mickaël Phelippeau

choreographic project by Mickaël Phelippeau
performance Jutyar Ali
artistic collaboration Claire Haenni

production Fabrik Cassiopée, far° Nyon
executive production bi-p association