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The French Alpes: Dreaming About Flying.

French choregrapher Rachid Ouramdane devises his day in four: homeschooling, job, sport and culture.

Skjermbilde 2020 05 18 Kl 10 59 24

Where are you now, and what is your status quo?

I am in my house which is based in the french Alpes at 1000 meter high and I follow the government's indications asking to stay confined. If you are in quarantine, what routines have you made for yourself ? I spend my time teaching the school program to my two children. I am also still working for myself a lot to manage all the activities we had to cancel for the national choreographic center of Grenoble trying to find financial solutions for the more fragile people that were involved in all theses projects: free lance artists, technicians, teachers...

Then, school at home the morning, work the afternoon, sport activities late afternoon and cultural program the evening.

What do you read?
At the moment I am reading the french playwrights which is also a good friend and collaborator Pascal Rambert. And also a wonderful master Japanese manga from Jirô Taniguchi and Baku Yumemakura entitled The Summit of the Gods, a present I got and that I never had the time to read.

What are you watching?
A lot of documentaries in relation to extreme sports in order to prepare my next piece.
The air on the skin, the altitude without gravity. Half way between a child’s dream and the utopia of escaping one’s condition of a human being stuck to the ground, each person confronted with taking flight speaks of a disquieting feeling which sometimes leads to thinking differently about what surrounds us.

In my next creation, Extreme Bodies, I would like to focalize on the fascination which is brought on by the notions of taking flight, of being weightless, of gliding... those moments when one leaves the earth such as several extreme sports allow as well as some artistic practices (acrobatics, flying trapeze...). Through these aerial choreographies done by these adventurous and artistic athletes, the idea is to reveal what these unconventional individuals seek to reach in this quest to escape gravity. Many of them put themselves in life threatening situations. They search for answers to existential questions, a meaning of their lives in a society in which they don’t feel at home anymore.
These aerial practises allow them to face their fear, to keep their self-control. Far from an impulsive or irrational act, these aerial practises are a way of testing their responsibility, their physical and emotional aptitudes. In those moments, fear is often less linked to the objectivity of the risk than to the imagination it generates.
Then waiting for to restart to work I watch documentaries based on these people.

What are you listening to?
Bon Iver, Michael Kiwanuka for hours and the french icon singer Christophe who just died of the corona virus.

How do you move?
I am lucky enough to have a house in a big field just for myself and to not have necessity to leave this area. I am enjoying the wild nature that surrounds my place having walks where there is absolutely no one.

What inspires you?
To contemplate the groups of Alpine chough, these black birds which hover in a circle in large numbers above the mountains of my region.

If you could send a message that would reach everyone, worldwide what would it be?
Many of us were forced to slowdown. That match with sustainable ideas. To produce less and to devote more time to our relatives. That maybe a positive aspect we could keep from this tragic sanitary crisis.

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