An intimate solo performance that bridges Tunis and Brussels with breakdance and ballet.
The Tunisian performer and dancer Mohamed Toukabri has been working for some time with artists such as Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Grace Ellen Barkey and Jan Lauwers. With ‘The Upside Down Man (The Son of the Road)’ he presents his first solo work.
In this dance performance, Mohamed Toukabri moves back and forth between the past and the present, between two countries, two cultures and two traditions, between artistic disciplines and the languages of dance. He uses his personal story as an aid to speak about identity and perception in the context of our society.
Mohamed Toukabri investigates the concept of 'in-between space' and confronts his audience with this mysterious and philosophical zone, somewhere between a westernized Muslim background in Tunis and the world-citizen status that European contemporary dance grants him. He makes the link with contemporary Afrofuturism, which is being used to reinvestigate historic events in order to shed a different light on current dilemmas. By way of a constant interplay between dance, video, text and sound, he deals with themes including identity, shock, change and the eternal power of discovery.
‘In The Upside Down Man, I chose an autobiographical approach because I am interested in what is uniquely personal, in the fact that no one else can tell my story, because no one else sees the world through my eyes. Precisely because of that uniqueness, every person has his place in the world. While we are often inclined to generalise, apply labels or plump for easy answers, I want to show that I am not a single story: I am many stories.’ - Mohamed Toukabri
‘For it is often the way we look at other people that imprisons them within their own narrowest allegiances. And it is also the way we look at them that may set them free.’ - Amin Maalouf
Part of NORMAL SCHNORMAL, a multidisciplinary programme on normality and other deviations.
concept and performance: Mohamed Toukabri, text: Mohamed Toukabri & Ines Ghannoudi, dramaturgy: Ddiane Fourdrignier, composer: Kevin Strauwen, technical director: Gwen Laroche, artistic development: Eva Blaute