Uprooting, displacement and far-flung mental and geographic spaces are all central themes in the work of Rachid Ouramdane, who has often sought to confront the subjects of exile and migration in his pieces. From Superstars to Sfumato, he has revealed new territories to audiences and brought to life the imaginings of those who have left a once familiar place. With Franchir la nuit, he focuses on migrant children forced to leave their homes at a young age and to confront both hope and despair.
Geographic displacement gives way to displacement of the mind, as Ouramdane looks to address interior exile and the memories of now-distant lands. To create this piece, he worked with exiled children, listening to their stories and attempting to reconstitute a poetic echo of their words. In each town where Franchir la nuit is staged, workshops are organised to transmit choreographic means of expression to local children and to explore their own stories. These children share the stage, which is submerged beneath a pool of water, with six professional dancers.
For Rachid Ouramdane, addressing exile also means revealing the links between bodies, spaces and places. Choreography, scenography and visuals by videographer Mehdi Medacci here offer glimpses of different landscapes, while musician Deborah Lennie-Bisson envelops the stage in a soundscape that blends her own compositions with local songs and international pop hits.