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From the heart of Casablanca to NYU Abu Dhabi Mourad Merzouki and Kader Attou bring hip hop dance show Danser Casa

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The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) and the Institut français in the UAE are excited to present Danser Casa on Monday, April 29 at 8pm.

Two pioneers of French hip hop dance – Mourad Merzouki and Kader Attou – join forces once again, choreographing a piece for eight performers, as they explore the roots of street dance and thespirit of Casablanca’s young dancers. Continuing their strong relationship, The Arts Center is delighted to once again work with Institut français in the UAE, cultural service of the French Embassy, as part of the Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue; this serves as a testament to The Arts Center’s commitment to collaboration with the wider community and to supporting the UAE’s international relations in the Year of Tolerance.

Mourad Merzouki, the creator of Compagnie Käfig’s Pixel, which opened The Arts Center’s 2018-19 season, is back with the French-Algerian Kader Attou, of Compagnie Accrorap, as their captivating choreography conveys an apparent tension in Casablanca, made up of latent violence and a raw love that remains unspoken. This performance showcases intense dance duels, hypnotic acrobatics, and moments of pure musical and chorographical beauty.

HE Ludovic Pouille, Ambassador of France to the United Arab Emirates declared:

“I am thrilled to welcome this new show in Abu Dhabi, directed by two of France’s best hip-hop choreographers and performed by eight talented young dancers from Morocco. Once again, we are delighted to work closely with the The Arts Center and its wonderful team, whose work and programs always combine quality and diversity.

This powerful dance show inspired by the hectic city life in Casablanca invites us on a journey in the streets of this multifaceted city where modern architecture mixes with the narrow and traditional streets of the Medina. This blend of cultures and atmospheres embodies one of the main features of the Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue: to shed a light on cultural exchanges, cooperation, learning and discovery of new cultures.”

At the age of seven, Mourad Merzouki trained in the circus school of Saint-Priest, in Lyon’s eastern suburbs, while also practicing martial arts. At 15, he gravitated towards dance through inspiration drawn from hip-hop culture. From there, he developed choreography and soon created his first dance company, Accrorap, in 1989, with Kader Attou, Eric Mezino, and Chaouki Saïd. By 1996, Merzouki founder his company Käfig, which means “cage” in Arabic and German, and up until 2006, he created 14 pieces that explore the world of dance through a multitude of styles.

Kader Attou is one of the major representatives of French hip hop, he played an integral part on today’s hip hop dance scene. With a contemporary blending of cultures and humanistic commitment, Attou creates modern-day dance performances where encounters, dialogue, and sharing are the driving creative sources. In January 2013, he was made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) and in the New Year’s honors list of 2015, he was appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the French Legion of Honour).

Executive Artistic Director at The Arts Center Bill Bragin, said: “We had such a tremendous response to Compagnie Kafig’s Pixel last season, so when the Institut Français approached us with this opportunity to add Danser Casa to our schedule, we didn’t hesitate. The hip hop dance scene in France that Mourad Merzouki and Kader Attou pioneered has flourished with work at the highest level of artistry. And the hip hop scene in Morocco, and throughout the Arab world, has been blossoming in recent years. This show, extending a rich collaboration between the UAE and France around arts and culture, is a perfect high note on which to end our season.”

For full artist bios, please refer to the supporting document in this email.

Tickets are now available. For more information on each performance and ticket availability, please visit: http://www.nyuad-artscenter.org/

The Arts Center at NYUAD is a performing arts center that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions.

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