Crossing the Line Festival 2019FIAF Crossing the Line Festival 2019 FIAF

SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING

Germaine Acogny & Mikaël Serre

Co-presented with La MaMa

DANCE THEATER

US Premiere

Thu, Sep 26 at 7pm
Fri, Sep 27 at 7pm
Sat, Sep 28 at 7pm

La MaMa
Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 East 4th Street, NYC

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“Acogny, past her seventies, remains a fighter.”
Danser Canal Historique, 2018

Germaine Acogny, the "Mother of Contemporary African Dance," presents the US premiere of her powerhouse solo, SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING.

Co-created and directed by Mikaël Serre, this unflinching and brave work traces African history interwoven with her own life narrative. Founder and director of the renowned Ecole des Sables in Senegal, Acogny, who is now in her 70s, has shaped a new generation of dancers and choreographers in Africa. As part of BRIDGING, she will teach a workshop with students of dance at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

65 min
In French with English supertitles
Tickets start at $20

View Production Credits
Concept & Direction: Mikaël Serre
Choreography: Germaine Acogny
Assistant Choreography: Patrick Acogny
Music composed and performed live: Fabrice Bouillon «LaForest»
Video: Sébastien Dupouey
Set Design: Maciej Fiszer
Costumes: Johanna Diakhate-Rittmeyer
Lighting Design: Sébastien Michaud
Technical Director: Marco Wehrspann
Text by Togoun Servais Acogny, Aloopho, Germaine Acogny, Euripides (Medea), adaptation by Mikaël Serre

Production: JANT-BI, Senegal

Co-Production: Les Théâtres de la Ville du Luxembourg / Théâtre de la Ville, Paris / Institut Français, Paris

Residency and Co-production: La Ferme du Buisson, scène nationale de Marne-la-Vallée

Residency : Le Centquatre, Paris
Edmond de Rothschild Foundations

SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING is presented as part of BRIDGING: An International Dialogue on Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts, an initiative co-developed and supported by the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations in collaboration with FIAF. Launched during Crossing the Line 2016, BRIDGING offers international perspectives to evaluate policies and practices in an effort to move beyond simple acknowledgement of cultural diversity to achieve genuine equality in the arts in our shifting cultural landscape.

Cultural Services of the French Embassy
FACE Foundation

SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING is supported by FUSED (French US Exchange in Dance), a program developed by FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States with the support of the Florence Gould Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Institut français-Paris, The French Ministry of Culture, and private donors.

Photos
SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING ©Thomas Dorn
Germaine Acogny © Antoine Tempé
Mikael Serre © Andreas Schmidt

Mikaël Serre

French-German, director, actor, performer, and translator, Mikaël Serre trained at the Beaux-Arts de Saint-Étienne before beginning his career as a photographer and graphic designer. He trained in Russia as a director before joining the Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. In 2000, he performed in Italy and Germany in the creation Il Regno, then in Summerfolk by M. Gorki. He founded the company Theâtre Bathyscaphe and continued his acting career at the Stadttheater in Bremen. As an artist associated with the Ferme du Buisson and then at La Rose des Vents, he made his first productions by choosing texts by contemporary authors or a set script. Transcending borders, his work has developed internationally thanks to cross-fertilization with various partners and artistic collaborators around the world, including in France, Germany, Switzerland, Senegal, and Italy. His directorial work has been featured at venues such as the Theatre National de Chaillot, Théâtre de la Bastille, and Opéra de Dijon, and he has been invited to numerous festivals including the Theater Pina Bauch, FIND Festival at Berlin's Schaubühne, and the famous Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin. Recent works include SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING (2015) with Germaine Acogny; Song of Solomon (2016), The Tales of Hoffmann (2017), Trois Ombres (2018), La Bohème (2019), and coming up in 2020, The Robbers by F. Schiller and a new creation, Offenbach Report, at the National Opera Nancy.

SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING
Germaine Acogny & Mikaël Serre
DANCE THEATER
US Premiere
Thu–Sat, Sep 26–28

La MaMa

Germaine Acogny

Senegalese and French, Germaine Acogny has developed her own Modern African Dance technique and is widely considered the Mother of Contemporary African Dance. For more than five decades she has been an emissary of African dance and culture, performing, choreographing, and teaching all over the world, From 1977 to 1982, she was artistic director of Mudra Afrique, created by Maurice Béjart and the Senegalese President L.S. Senghor in Dakar. In 1997, Acogny was appointed artistic director of the Dance of Africa in Creation section in Paris. With her husband Helmut Vogt, she founded in 1996 the Ecole des Sables, the International Centre for Traditional and Contemporary Dances of Africa, based in Senegal. She has received two Bessie Awards: Japanese choreographer Kota Yamazaki and Acogny won for their joint creation Fagaala, and in 2018 she was recognized for the performance of her solo Mon élue noire-sacre #2. Acogny is a Knight of the Ordre du Mérite, Officer and Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and Officer of the Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur of the French Republic. She is also a Knight of the National Order of the Lion and Officer and Commander of Arts and Letters of the Senegalese Republic.

SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING
Germaine Acogny & Mikaël Serre
DANCE THEATER
US Premiere
Thu–Sat, Sep 26–28

La MaMa

Germaine Acogny

Senegalese and French, Germaine Acogny has developed her own Modern African Dance technique and is widely considered the Mother of Contemporary African Dance. For more than five decades she has been an emissary of African dance and culture, performing, choreographing, and teaching all over the world, From 1977 to 1982, she was artistic director of Mudra Afrique, created by Maurice Béjart and the Senegalese President L.S. Senghor in Dakar. In 1997, Acogny was appointed artistic director of the Dance of Africa in Creation section in Paris. With her husband Helmut Vogt, she founded in 1996 the Ecole des Sables, the International Centre for Traditional and Contemporary Dances of Africa, based in Senegal. She has received two Bessie Awards: Japanese choreographer Kota Yamazaki and Acogny won for their joint creation Fagaala, and in 2018 she was recognized for the performance of her solo Mon élue noire-sacre #2. Acogny is a Knight of the Ordre du Mérite, Officer and Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and Officer of the Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur of the French Republic. She is also a Knight of the National Order of the Lion and Officer and Commander of Arts and Letters of the Senegalese Republic.

SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING
Germaine Acogny & Mikaël Serre
DANCE THEATER
US Premiere
Thu–Sat, Sep 26–28

La MaMa

Mikaël Serre

French-German, director, actor, performer, and translator, Mikaël Serre trained at the Beaux-Arts de Saint-Étienne before beginning his career as a photographer and graphic designer. He trained in Russia as a director before joining the Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. In 2000, he performed in Italy and Germany in the creation Il Regno, then in Summerfolk by M. Gorki. He founded the company Theâtre Bathyscaphe and continued his acting career at the Stadttheater in Bremen. As an artist associated with the Ferme du Buisson and then at La Rose des Vents, he made his first productions by choosing texts by contemporary authors or a set script. Transcending borders, his work has developed internationally thanks to cross-fertilization with various partners and artistic collaborators around the world, including in France, Germany, Switzerland, Senegal, and Italy. His directorial work has been featured at venues such as the Theatre National de Chaillot, Théâtre de la Bastille, and Opéra de Dijon, and he has been invited to numerous festivals including the Theater Pina Bauch, FIND Festival at Berlin's Schaubühne, and the famous Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin. Recent works include SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING (2015) with Germaine Acogny; Song of Solomon (2016), The Tales of Hoffmann (2017), Trois Ombres (2018), La Bohème (2019), and coming up in 2020, The Robbers by F. Schiller and a new creation, Offenbach Report, at the National Opera Nancy.

SOMEWHERE AT THE BEGINNING
Germaine Acogny & Mikaël Serre
DANCE THEATER
US Premiere
Thu–Sat, Sep 26–28

La MaMa