Hva leter du etter?

Mohamed Toukabri

The Tunisian choreographer and dancer Mohamed Toukabri opened our 2020 season in January. Now he is quarantined in Belgium. We had a chat with him on the current situation.

Where are you now, and what is status quo?
I am in Brussels. Belgium declared a lock down, so basically I am most of the time at home.

What routines have you made for yourself?
During the first days of the quarantine I didn’t really follow any specific routine since it felt necessary to press the pause-button and first take the time for myself to breath. One of the most important thing for me is to focus on taking time to create time for the things I don't usually have time for in my normal everyday life.
My routine varies from one day to another: There is time for the spirit, time for the body, time for the mind and time for pleasure. I start my day with meditation, not the meditation we all know. I meditate while preparing and drinking my coffee.
Then I read a bit the news.
I do between 1h30 to 2h of physical exercises.
I call my family in Tunis to ask about their news.
I read.
I go out to do grocery when it is need it. theatre and
I go for a small walk in the park and I watch a lot of interviews of other choreographers, theatre and movie makers, visual artists and painters. I am curious to know what is going on in their brains and to learn about how and why they make what they make.

Photo 1 Emilie Jacomet

What do you read?
I didn’t used to read that much, but since few years I became obsessed with reading. Gathering knowledge became very important for me. Reading is like being pushed out of your comfort zone, like a leap of faith into the unknown. Various narratives coming from different places challenge me and confront me with other points of view, which inspires me and gives me freedom. The freedom to dare to question my own beliefs, to question certain questions that I did not dare to question before, and to challenge what I was taught is the truth.
At the moment I am reading three different books:
1- Philosophy: HOW TO BE FREE, an ancient guide to the stoic life. A book translated by A.A. Long, which speaks of the slave-born Romain philosopher Epictetus, who taught that spiritual freedom is the highest since it can liberate you anywhere, even in prison.
2- Art: Performing live art since 1960 by Roselee Goldberg 3 - Social/Cultural/Political : Orientalism by Edward W. Said (A must read).

20190322 Mohamed Toukabri Bits Of Dance Kaap Brugge Tom Leentjes 5

What are you watching?
Movies: 1) Endless Poetry by Alejandro Jodorwsky 3) A Ghost Story by David Lowery
Documentaries: 1) Un jour Pina a demandé by Alain Plagne (available on YouTube).
2) Hip-hop Evolution. A Netflix series about the history of Hip-Hop. 3) The Feminists – what were they thinking? A Netflix Series. 4) Trump an American Dream. A Netflix series.

What are you listening to?
Esther Philips, Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, Bob Marly, Drake, Farid Al Atrach, Roy Orbison, PNL, Hildegard Von Bingen, Bach.

How do you move?
I am more and more practicing free-improvisation instead of working with a certain dance method. I simply try to connect with my inner-state of being at that very moment and use it as a motor to move. I use the space around me as inspiration as well trusting in my own intuition and experience as a dancer. I am learning not to name things, because naming things reduces and limits the potential of what they might become.

icon-facebookicon-instagramsoek_3icon-searchicon-twitterDansens Hus