Mourad Merzouki

Choreographer

A major figure on the hip-hop scene since the early 1990s, choreographer Mourad Merzouki works at the crossroads of many different disciplines : he adds circus, martial arts, fine arts, video and live music to his exploration of hip-hop dance. Without losing sight of the roots of hip-hop movement - of its social and geographical origins - this multidisciplinary approach opens new horizons and reveals original outlooks.

Sa formation s’enracine dès l’âge de 7 ans dans la pratique des arts martiaux et des arts du cirque à Saint-Priest, dans l’est lyonnais. À 15 ans, sa rencontre avec la culture hip-hop l’emmène vers le monde de la danse. Il s’attaque à la chorégraphie et crée ainsi sa première compagnie Accrorap en 1989, avec Kader Attou, Eric Mezino et Chaouki Saïd. Il développe cette gestuelle née dans la rue tout en se confrontant à d’autres langages chorégraphiques auprès notamment de Maryse Delente, Jean-François Duroure et Josef Nadj. En 1994, la compagnie présente Athina lors de la Biennale de la danse de Lyon, un véritable succès qui réussit à transposer la danse hip-hop de la rue à la scène. Les premières représentations internationales de la compagnie la mènent vers des terrains inexplorés, comme un camp de réfugiés en Croatie ; Mourad Merzouki y fait l’expérience de la danse comme puissant vecteur de communication.

In 1996 Merzouki decided to establish his own company. Naming it after his inaugural piece, Käfig (which means “cage” in Arabic and German), he set a symbolic tone that paradoxically represents his “openness” and refusal to become locked into a single style. From 1996 to 2006, Merzouki created 14 pieces that explored the world of dance through a multitude of styles.

Starting from January 2006, he designed a new creation and choreographic development centre dedicated to hip-hop dance, where he also implemented the Karavel Festival : Pôle Pik, in Bron, opened its doors in 2009.

Since June 2009, Merzouki is director of the Centre chorégraphique national de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne, where he develops an artistic project that uses “dance as a window on the world”: while creating and performing new works, Merzouki also provides support for independent groups and emerging companies, as well as training and awareness of hip-hop dance, by creating original encounters that promote access to choreographic art. In 2013, he created the Kalypso Festival, offering a new level of exposure to hip-hop dance companies in the Paris region.

In March 2016, Merzouki was appointed artistic advisor for Pôle en Scènes in Bron, where he brought together Pôle Pik, Espace Albert Camus and the Fort, in support of the common goal of training, creating and promoting the performing arts. He has stayed true to his artistic beliefs by creating bridges between disciplines, opening diverse spaces to an ever-wider audience.

Mourad Merzouki is member of the support committee to choreographic art of the French Ministry of Culture (DRAC Île-de-France) and the sponsorship committee for dance of Caisse des Dépôts.

He appears in the famous Who’s Who book and was recently included in the dictionary Petit Larousse Illustré 2019.

FugaCités #1: Interview Mourad Merzouki
Mourad Merzouki & le Concert de l'Hostel Dieu
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