Choreographer Ula Sickle spent a week with acrobat and performer Mohamed Djobbi in Tunis in January – the coldest week of the year. In the afternoons they walked through the old Medina discussing everything from politics and the situation after the Arab Spring, to the art of tight rope walking. Some starting points began to coalesce: how the public space becomes a place to express oneself, when the rule of the day no longer seems to hold; and being exhilarated by the freedom of defying gravity. What is the effort and practice needed for new forms of freedom to take root? This project created together with Djobbi and a local cast of performers lies somewhere between parcours – that athletic form of using the city and its infrastructure as a playground – and human graffiti. Can we use bodies in public space as a form of writing, not in breathless speed but rather in slowness? Let’s call it slow-parcours, or choreography.
Creations / Parcours
Ula Sickle (Brussels)
Ula Sickle (CA/PL) is a choreographer and performer based in Brussels, Belgium. From a background in contemporary dance, she works across disciplines and in collaboration with artists from other domains such as the visual arts or contemporary music.
Her interest in looking for an alternative to the cannon of contemporary dance, has led her to seek out performers who embody other movement histories. The solos Solid Gold (2010) & Jolie (2011) as well as the group performance Kinshasa Electric (2014) are all collaborations with performers from Democratic Republic of Congo. Extreme Tension (2012) is a powerful solo for a self-taught dancer in her 60’s, and Prelude (2014) was created for a female vocalist.
centred around strong performers, she searches for forms of choreographic writing, where the cultural coding and political power of ‘popular’ dancing can be revealed or where the musicality and materiality of the body itself can take centre stage.
Extended Play (2016) is a collaboration with visual artist and DJ Daniela Bershan (Baba Electronica), who also created the sound and performed live in Kinshasa Electric (2014). EP premiered in the Kunstenfestivaldesarts and Les Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis in Paris.
Production : L’Art Rue / Dream City
With the support of the European Union
Co-production : National Theatre of Tunisia
Technical Partner : SYBEL Light & Sound
Place provided by l’Institut National du Patrimoine