Ben & Luc

This duo is thought of as a cross portrait of Ben Salaah Cisse and Luc Sanou, both Burkinabe dancers I meet in 2014. Two years later, we meet again at a festival in Burkina Faso and continue to work there. We then present an excerpt from the duo at the Place de la Femme in Ouagadougou. It features a series of slow and sensual lifts, with attention paid to the quality of touch, contact and skin. While the piece receives a cheerful and warm welcome, the festival director, who had only just discovered the proposal, brings to my awareness that a duo of African men expressing this sensuality in a public space may represent a danger for both dancers. I realize that Ben and Luc are aware of this but that they also wished, to a certain extent, this kind of exposure.

As for me, it’s on that day that the duo took its full meaning, in the sense that the project took a form of commitment and placed itself in a reality, their reality, reinforced by a tense political context in the « Country of Honest Men ».

Their experience in both traditionnal African dance and contemporary dance leads us to question what it is that shapes and builds them. What links these two men is about love, complicity, fraternity and friendship, but also about duality and confrontation. The complexity of their relationship is the starting point of this project.

  • Mickaël Phelippeau

The premiere took place on july 21st 2018 at Festival d’Avignon, in collaboration with Les Hivernales - CDCN d’Avignon, with the support of L'échangeur - CDCN Hauts-de-France et du Gymnase - CDCN

a choreographic piece by Mickaël Phelippeau

performance Ben Salaah Cisse, Luc Sanou

artistic collaboration Claire Haenni

dramaturgical collaboration Anne Kersting

light designer Abigail Fowler

stage & light manager Antoine Crochemore

sound designer Eric Yvelin

sound manager Eric Yvelin ou Laurent Dumoulin

production set-up Fabrik Cassiopée - Isabelle Morel

production, distribution and administration Fabrik Cassiopée – Manon Crochemore, Pauline Delaplace & Marie-Laure Menger

acknowledgments ACMUR Festival Rendez-vous chez nous – Ouagadougou (BFA), Festival International de Danse de Ouagadougou (BFA)

executive producer bi-p association
coproduction L'échangeur - CDCN Hauts-de-France (FR), Scène nationale 61 – Alençon (FR), CCN2- Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble dans le cadre de l’accueil studio 2018 (FR), Centre chorégraphique national de Nantes (FR)
with the support of l'Institut Français et de la Région Hauts-de-France
with the help of l’Institut français de Ouagadougou (BFA)

photo credits Mickaël Phelippeau & Philippe Savoir

Creation 2018

Festival d’Avignon, co-hosted by Les Hivernales – CDCN, with the support of L’échangeur - CDCN Hauts-de-France et du Gymnase - CDCN Roubaix (FR) - premiere
L’échangeur - CDCN Hauts de France, in the frame of Festival C’est comme ça !, FR
Scène nationale 61 - Alençon – Flers – Mortagne-au-Perche, FR
Théâtre Louis Aragon, scène conventionnée danse de Tremblay en France, FR

L'Orange Bleue, Espace culturel d'Eaubonne, FR
TAP, scène nationale de Poitiers, in the frame of festival À Corps, FR
Nouvelle scène nationale - Théâtre des Arts / Cergy Grand-Centre, FR
TPE Théâtre Paul Eluard, scène conventionnée, Bezons, FR
CCN2 - Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble, in the frame of GR 5, FR