Seven men exalt the power of the collective in an intense and acrobatic dance. Their engine? The rhythm! Unceasing, obsessive, it causes boiling and breathes energy into the bodies. Näss is a dialogue between the traditional dances and music of North Africa, which rocked the choreographer’s childhood, and their rewriting in the light of the urban cultures he discovered and embraced in France. On the borderline between the profane and the sacred, between unbridled modernity and attachment to the rituals that still defend it, Näss dares and confronts these contradictory body states, and affirms the syncretism of the popular and urban dimension of hip-hop dance. It questions its roots and proposes to place them in its journey back to our current practices. The rhythms of traditional Moroccan dances and the mysticism of the Gnawa tradition have been essential sources of inspiration. Näss thus has a universal dimension, the permanent quest of men towards an elsewhere, spiritual or physical with as common language the rhythm, the one that unites and moves the bodies. Fouad Boussouf thus claims loud and clear a hip-hop dance connected to his tribal and African roots.
« The story of the famous Nass el Ghiwane* group from the 1970s in the Maghreb was an important element in my inspiration. The texts and language used by this group reminded me of the strange link that could exist with the anti-rap movement and hip-hop culture of the same period in the United States. In their lyrics, I discovered a more incarnate hip-hop, imbued with ancestral traditions, still alive because it is deeply inhabited. I composed Näss as a breath, both physical and mystical, that reminds me of the need to be firmly anchored to its land in order to better feel its vibrations. » Fouad Boussouf
« Being a Ghiwane is first and foremost an ancestral custom that allows people, known for their probity and ability, to describe with simplicity the daily life through words and gestures. These singers and troubadours passed on their wisdom from village to village, thanks to the only means in their possession, the theatre in the form of Halqa and song. » Khalid Benslimane, « L’Hâl ou La trance cabalistique du phénomène El Ghiwane », 2004
Halka: troops who give themselves up in a pubic place where they form circles of spectators (halka), next to other circles, storytellers, snake charmers, acrobats…. Marrakech and Jemah el Fna Square perpetuate this tradition.
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