Sol-Os: experimental dance from Casablanca

Sol-Os
Sol-Os
© Hamouda Lkhdar

Sol-Os – Chakib Yahlahi | © Hamouda Lkhdar

From 6 to 23 November Dancing On The Edge presented the fourth edition of its biannual festival, focusing on performing arts, film and multimedia installations from the Middle East and North Africa. This year renowned performers appeared next to those of a new generation, and works from Iran, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and other countries were performed on different Dutch stages. The 2013 edition featured a number of important premieres, including Sol-Os: the latest creation of choreographer Khalid BenGhrib and his Casablanca-based dance company Cie2k_far.

 Sol-Os. A quirky name for a quirky creation. Sol-Os is the creation of a whole through the fusion of three separate solo pieces. Furthermore, the name is a pun on the French words sol ‘floor’ and os ‘bones’: bones on the floor. However, the body is only one of the aspects of the piece: Sol-Os is an interdisciplinary dance performance that brings body, video and image together. By crossing disciplines choreographer BenGhrib tries to tell a story from different perspectives. The result: an overall experience from beginning to end.

BenGhrib was born in Casablanca, studied dance at the French École de danse la Rochelle and currently lives in Paris. In 2003, together with his wife Loren Palmer he founded the dance company ‘Cie2k_far’, that he performs with in cities all over the world. Additionally BenGhrib provides workshops for young people in Morocco and beyond. During these workshops he considers it important “not to impose a particular dance form, but to open these youngsters’ windows in order to bring out their underlying creative capabilities”.

Sol-Os - Youness Aboulakoul | © Hamouda Lkhdar

Sol-Os – Youness Aboulakoul | © Hamouda Lkhdar

Such an attitude can also be found in BenGhrib’s latest work. “The essence of the idea is there, for the rest it’s up to the dancer”, says BenGhrib about the making of Sol-Os. “It is about the composition of an idea, not about the composition of movements.” According to the Moroccan choreographer the creation of the machine is more important than the way it works. BenGhrib believes that making mistakes while dancing is okay, because mistakes provide opportunities for new compositions.

Sol-Os stands out from BenGhrib’s previous work because of its more political character. The show is a representation of BenGhrib’s vision of the ‘Arab Spring’. “The revolution is an illusion,” says BenGhrib. “After two years nothing has changed, the faces have changed, but the system remains the same.” With Sol-Os, BenGhrib wants to speak out against ‘the marketing of the revolution’. “The media make it appear as if the revolution is a Hollywood movie.” Sol-Os provides room to debate the ‘Arab Spring’.

Sol-Os - Younes Atbane | © Hamouda Lkhdar

Sol-Os – Younes Atbane | © Hamouda Lkhdar

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