THE POWER (of) THE FRAGILE
Mohamed Toukabri (BELGIUM)
Boris Hristov House of Culture, Plovdiv
Start: 6 PM
One flesh and blood, one root, two generations and two separate worlds. They will finally come together.
One flesh and blood, one root, two generations and two separate worlds. They will finally come together. On stage, mother and son reunite after years of separation to look at each other and, through dance, build a space where they feel at home. A home is a place, but it might be a feeling too – as fragile as strong enough to replicate anywhere. In the theatre room, in an unfamiliar city, in the past and in the future.
She always dreamed of being a dancer, he made dance his profession. The duet of the Tunisian choreographer Mohamed Tukabri, based in Belgium, and his mother Latifa is a crossing of the lines of their physical bodies, dreams, searches, and lives. They show the audience their reunion, which does not need to be acted out as it happens in a natural, delicate and intimate way.
The piece is a beautiful and tender dance story about the bond between mother and son, but also about the importance of home when you are near and when you are far.It is about striving to be in a safe place, under the roof of love and shared care with your closest ones. There, you are genuine, natural, and honest. And there, you can be anything – worthy, accepted, appreciated, vulnerable, weak, powerless.
Home is the strength (of) human frailty, value and fiction, windows and walls, and however we know or fantasize about it, we all return there, regardless of race, religion, social class, or sexual orientation, no matter anything.
“With all the revolutions, wars, natural catastrophes, animal abuse, climate change, migration, children being separated from their mothers, the #MeToo movement, the patriarchal system, white privilege … What can one do in the middle of all of this? Who can we go to when we have no one? Where to go when there is nowhere to go? Don’t we have only each other in the end? Where is that space, that space where one can heal their own wounded soul?
– Mohamed Toukabri, chorepgraoher
“Mohamed Toukabri wanted to make a show with his mother. A very simple request: to dance with the person who gave us life, the person who knows us best. On stage they make an unusual duo, if not in life…Their two bodies extend themselves on stage, to become sometimes the echo of the other, their reflection, their symphony, their pain… Mohamed Toukabri, through a narrative simplicity, an aesthetic poetry, and a dazzling virtuosity, takes us back to the dramas of antiquity and asks the question what it means to uproot your own flesh.
– Diane Fourdrignier, dramaturg
Mohamed Toukabri was born in Tunis and began dancing at the age of 12, starting with breakdance. He joined the Sybel Ballet Theatre (TN) led by Syheme Belkhodja (2002 – 2008). At the age of 16, Mohamed trained in Paris at the International Academy of Dance. In 2007 he returned to Tunis to study at the Mediterranean Centre for Contemporary Dance. He worked with the choreographer Imed Jemaa in 5 productions between 2006 and 2008.
In 2008, he started his studies at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels, a dance school directed by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. During these studies he participated in Babel by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet from Eastman Company (BE) (2010). Mohamed was a member of Needcompany, the international performance company in Brussels founded by Jan Lauwers and Grace Ellen Barkey (2013-2018). He also performed in the remake of the repertory piece Zeitung by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (2012) and Sacré Printemps! by Aicha M’Barak and Hafiz Dhaou (Chatha Company (TN)) (2014).
Mohamed recently worked on the remake of the opera Shell Shock, A Requiem of War with the choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, composer Nicholas Lens and writer Nick Cave for the 100th Anniversary of the World War I at the Philharmonie de Paris (2018.) He is also a part of Larbi’s newer creations; Nomad (2018) and the opera Alceste (choreographed for the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, 2019).
His first self-devised work The Upside Down Man (the son of the road) premiered at the Me, Myself & I Festival in Hellerau, Dresden in May 2018. The work is currently on tour in Belgium, UK, France, Lille, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria. It was selected for Het Theaterfestival as part of the #NewYoung category ( September, 2019 ). THE POWER (of) THE FRAGILE is his latest work, a duet with his mother.
Concept and choreography: Mohamed Toukabri
Performance: Mimouna (Latifa) Khamessi and Mohamed Toukabri
Dramaturgy: Diane Fourdrignier
Technical Direction and scenography: Lies VanLoock
Technical coordination tour: Matthieu Vergez
Sound design and artistic advice: Annalena Fröhlich
Sound technician: Paola Pisciottano
Costume design: Ellada Damianou
Research & development: Eva Blaute
Executive production: Caravan Production
Coproduction: Needcompany, Vooruit, Beursschouwburg, Dansens Hus Oslo
Cultuurcentrum De Factorij, Needcompany, Vooruit, Charleroi Danse
With the support of The Flemish Authorities and the Flemish Community Commission
Photography: Christian Tandberg – Dansens Hus Oslo