© Hervé Véronèse

© Hervé Véronèse


Premiere show at La Bâtie-Festival de Genève in 2016


Fascinated by the rhythmic complexity of Jamaican Dancehall, Cecilia Bengolea explores this musical and choreographic culture born in 1960s Jamaica. Dancehall is a lifestyle that resists power structures, a denunciation of oppressive ideologies. It is an outlet for the violence and competition to which the youngest populations of Kingston’s ghettos are subjected. Regularly travelling to Jamaica, Cecilia Bengolea has met two star dancers in this form (Damion BG Dancers and Giddy Elite Team). These courageous young people, refusing to subject themselves to the cheap labor that constitutes new forms of slavery and exploitation, attempt with the utmost ingenuity to survive through self-expression. What results is a dance that is combative and defiant, technical and rhythmic. Cecilia is part of a group of dancers composed of male gangsters from Kingston, called Verbnation. For this project, she learned their dances and is developing a choreographic language between narrative and abstraction.

Moved by a dream to sing and dance simultaneously, François Chaignaud has pursued the study of traditional Georgian vocal polyphony (for three or four bodies and voices). This repertory, which is sometimes quite ancient (certain songs still sung today originate from before Christianity), is considered both a tradition and a living, breathing element of daily life. The repertory is quite varied with respect to region and the function of each song. The majority of songs are composed for three voices, creating specific frictions and vibrations.

Outside of Georgia, this repertory is relegated to folkloric contexts. Its richness, nuance, and emotional power, however, can be precious and inspiring resources to associate it to other contexts and other vocal repertories (notably the beginnings of French polyphonic music written in the 13th century). Excited by the immense technical challenges (precision, synchronisation, vocal projection, etc.) that singing and dancing these powerful polyphonies a capella present, François Chaignaud dreams of a total mode of expression by which bodies create an event that is at once musical, vocal, visual, and kinetic.

By taking on a methodology of research before bringing together and composing the choreographic and musical material that will emerge from it, François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea affirm both their passion for choreographic and artistic practices outside of contemporary dance’s field of reference and their desire to create a mode of expression that is specific, analytical, abstract, and humorous from experiences with these heterogeneous languages. This work calls upon the diversity and specificity of the genealogies and sources encountered as much as it emancipates itself from them to create unexpected figures and forms, reconciliations and combinations freed from the original references. They thus pursue their longstanding research founded on a curiosity, as much anthropological as it is formal, about choreographic and musical forms of expression.


© Hervé Véronèse

© Hervé Véronèse

Artistic team
Conception: Cecilia Bengolea, François Chaignaud
choreographic collaboration: Damion BG Dancerz, Joan Mendy
Performers: Cecilia Bengolea, Cassie Dancer, Damion BG Dancerz, François Chaignaud, Valeria Lanzara, Joan Mendy, Erika Miyauchi, Shihya Peng
Vocal coaches: Cécile Banquey, Baptiste Chopin, Alix Debaecker, Eugénie de Mey, Marie Picaut, Celia Stroom
Technical director, lighting design and dramaturgy collaboration: Jean-Marc Segalen
Video: Giddy Elite Team
Sound design: Clément Bernerd
Costumes – Conception: Cecilia Bengolea, François Chaignaud – Menufacturing: Méryl Coster, Florence Demingeon, France Lorenzi
Administration, production: Anne Reungoat, Jeanne Lefèvre, Céline Peychet
Diffusion: Sarah De Ganck – Art Happens

Production – Vlovajob Pru
Vlovajob Pru is subsidised by the DRAC Rhône-Alpes and the Conseil Régional de Rhône-Alpes. Vlovajob Pru receives the support of the Institut Français and of the Institut Français / Ville de Lyon for its abroad projects. François Chaignaud and Cecilia Bengolea are in residencyat CDC l’Echangeur Hauts-de-France (2014-2015-2016) and have rehearsed the show DFS in residency at Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy.

Cecilia Bengolea and François Chaignaud are associate artists at Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy

Bonlieu Scène nationale Annecy et La Bâtie-Festival de Genève as part of the programme INTERREG France-Switzerland 2014-2020, Club Création Entreprises Annecy, Biennale de la Danse de Lyon 2016, l’Echangeur – CDC Hauts-de-France, Festival d’Automne à Paris/Les Spectacles vivants-Centre Pompidou, Opéra de Lille, deSingel Antwerp, Salder’s Wells London, CCN2-Centre chorégraphique national de Grenoble – Accueil Studio, CDC Toulouse/Midi-Pyrénées, CNDC Angers – Accueil Studio, PACT Zollverein Essen, Gessnerallee Zürich, La Pop Paris

Institut Français Paris (2014-2015), FIACRE Fonds d’Innovation Artistique et Culturelle en Rhône-Alpes (2015)
Ménagerie de verre Paris – Studiolab, CND Centre National de la Danse Pantin – welcome and residency.

Special thanks
To the Jamaican dancers who accompanied the creation DFS: Dancing Rebel, Giddy Elite Team, Nicky Trice Rifical Team, O’shean & Suns French Squad and Rudey Legacy; and to Mélodie France, Geoffroy Jourdain (les Cris de Paris) and Elodie Tessier

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