Dance in Sketch: CE QUE LE JOUR DOIT A LA NUIT (Herve Koubi / Next Move Dance)

what_day_owes_nightIThis is a dance that takes an imaginary world and turns it so that it becomes our own world. CE QUE LE JOUR DOIT A LA NUIT (what day owes to the night) premiered in 2013, and it is based on a heroic story by Yasmina Khadra. The dancers at first separate, moving gradually to where they build a sensitivity to the space between them.

what_day_owes_nightIIThe scrutiny of space comes with the fabric that conveys a sandy landscape or the expression as foreign to us as the many countries in Africa. Herve Koubi is traveling along the fringe of French African culture. Through dance a culture’s mystery can be told with symbolic language. Koubi put forth swirling, dashing, long, short postures which was reminiscent of Arabic calligraphic penmanship.

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The influence of the desert and the ancient Sanskrit that brought people together in parts of the world are aesthetic and functional. The costumes by Guillaume Gabriel create flighty characters and transient formations which occur at times in complete silence. Koubi commented on the silence in parts to appear cunningly with the title. The feeling of night and day also congers emotions of xenophobia.

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The mention of Jacques Derrida during the post show discussion touched on constructionist dance and deconstructionism. Looking into this form of the foreign and changing how we look at heroism can teeter or fall. The dancer’s physical relation is like the Suphis spiritual journey and behind many of these duets, groups of dancers, or dancers spinning on their heads are ambiguous figures in the shadows (courts, streets,wealthy, religious place, or markets). The journey which Koubi takes us on is nonlinear, and we are falling through space landing randomly in an unknown place. The egs and feet of the dancers are upside down, and at times the fabric is in the way and a new figure emerges.

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The performance ends with a poetic speech from one of the bare chested dancers. The cavernous lighting evokes a dreary traveler’s expectations of a new place to call home. I think we finally made it to a point of familiarity with the Algerian street dancers. Surprisingly the dancers and Koubi come out to the lobby after the performance. In my opinion the audience acknowledged their athleticism, but the idea of an institution in place to guide aesthetics asks these ‘double questions.’ Derrida calls this ‘double question’ a paradox for the foreigner as a guest to be misunderstood through language like Socrates in Plato’s APOLOGY.

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Koubi traces his ancestry to the Algeria. His ancestors from Algeria spoke Arabic, and, somewhere along the route of the many African countries, people in Africa began speaking French. This sandy landscape in north Africa spreads its culture across the different African countries. Koubi is showing the nature of heroic triumph, but also the brotherhood through the beauty of language.

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