Photo : Koen Broos


In Puz/zle, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui returns in a more abstract fashion to the notion of the multiple and of multiplicity rooted in our thought processes and the added question of how things fit together to create a new and distinct identity (like a jigsaw puzzle). Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is intrigued by why certain connections succeed in coming together as an organic whole while others fail. And whether they actually fail or if the failure lies in our perception of order and disorder. He aims then to question the seeming importance of order and linearity and to explore if there can be more than one way of solving a puzzle, of telling a tale, of living time.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui questions and highlights the puzzles that lie behind human relations (emotional, intellectual, sexual), the morphology of the body, and intangibles like musical traditions inspired by and woven together from separate and multiple strands and traditions (so a liturgical composition sung in Spain might have Arabic roots, buried in the sands of time).

With A Filetta, the Corsican polyphonic group (his companions in In Memoriam and Apocrifu), the Lebanese singer Fadia Tomb El-Hage (also seen in Origine) and the Japanese flautist and percussionist Kazunari Abe by his side to dissect how a song, a composition can have various sources all at once, religious and secular, Christian and Muslim, and how traditions that we so easily name European or Oriental are never that definable and monolithic, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui salutes the delightful impurity that constitutes our lives and our planet.

Choreography: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui Music composition: Jean-Claude Acquaviva, Kazunari Abe, Olga Wojciechowska

Additional music: Bruno Coulais, Tavagna, traditionals from Corsica, Japan and the Middle-East Set design: Filip Peeters and

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui Lighting design: Adam Carrée Video design: Paul Van Caudenberg Costume design: Miharu Toriyama Artistic consultant: Damien Jalet Artistic advice: Guy Cools, An-Marie Lambrechts, Gabriele Miracle Musical advice: Olga Wojciechowska Costume advice & dresser: Elisabeth Kinn Svensson Sound engineer: Jens Drieghe Sound engineer A Filetta: Rémi Grasso Rehearsal director/Assistant choreographer: Nienke Reehorst Choreographic assistants: Jon Filip Fahlstrøm, Helder Seabra

Performers: Navala Chaudhari, Leif Federico Firnhaber, Damien Fournier, Ben Fury, Louise Michel Jackson, Kazutomi Kozuki / Nicola Leahey, Sang-Hun Lee, Valgerdur Rúnarsdóttir, Helder Seabra, Elie Tass, Michael Watts

Live music: A Filetta (Jean-Claude Acquaviva, Ceccè Acquaviva, Jean-Luc Geronimi, Paul Giansily, Jean Sicurani, Maxime Vuillamier), Kazunari Abe, Fadia Tomb El-Hage

Technical team: Sharp, Mathias Batsleer Photographer: Koen Broos

Production: Eastman Coproduction: Festival d’Avignon, De Singel International Arts Campus – Antwerp, Sadler’s Wells – London, Opéra de Lille, Theaterfestival Boulevard – ‘s Hertogenbosch, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, La Filature Scène nationale – Mulhouse, Festspielhaus - Sankt-Pölten, Fondazione Musica per Roma, Düsseldorf festival!

With the support of : De Warande – Turnhout



Composition of the choruses for Seneca’s Medea:

The inspiration for this work came partly from the maze of the island’s oral memory; there are also influences from other vocal traditions of Corsica which the singers of A Filetta have been collecting since the Rencontres de Chants Polyphoniques of Calvi first began. Four long choruses lasting a total of about 48 minutes, evoking the past loves of Medea and Jason, the epic of the Argonauts and finally the murderous fury of the repudiated wife, banned from the kingdom. A sometimes harsh music which is often tender and even fragile but which always expresses the violence of the feelings and the fear of men in face of the anger of the gods.

The repertoire of Medea was first recorded in 2005.

National release of the album MEDEA, June 2006 (Naïve).

Audio extracts
Clic on an extract :
- L'Invitu - Extrait
- U furore

: aucun



O’ notte di i mei
Bocca senz’età
Hè dunque vera chì l’orma toia
In lu nostru fiatu si stà ?

                                                        Oh night of my people

                                                        Mouth without age

                                                        Is it true that your imprint

                                                        Lives on in our breath?


When the song evokes death, is it not actually celebrating life?

“What does not die does not live either” (Jankélévitch).

 The cult of the dead has always been important in Corsican tradition.

For more than thirty years now, many ensembles from the island have brought to public notice traditional requiems sung in polyphony (Rusiu, Sermanu, Ascu, Olmi cappella, Sartè, Calvi and more).

The group A Filetta has contributed, in its own way, to the safeguarding of the island oral heritage, particularly by incorporating new influences and their meetings with other artists - Sardinian, Greek and Georgian as well as their collaboration with Bruno Coulais have continually renewed the group’s personality.

These singers refuse to be the guardians of some cult to the past; instead, they cultivate, through their compositions, the idea of an extended tradition which is perpetually renewed and open. While the tradition is well-anchored in the memory, they do not hesitate to embrace and initiate new developments. A difficult exercise, no doubt, but one which is indispensable to their dream of remaining both enthusiastic and sincere.

Di Corsica riposu (Requiem for Two Visions) was commissioned for the Festival of Saint-Denis. It is a work for six voices, narrator and bandoneon.

Audio extracts
Clic on an extract :
- Lacrymosa

: aucun


Photo : Herman Sorgeloos


Choreography: Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
Dimitri Jourde
Yasuyuki Shuto

Singers: A Filetta

Stage design: Herman Sorgeloos
Costumes: Dries Van Noten
Bunraku puppet: Filip Peeters
Choreography assistant: Satoshi Kudo

Production: La Monnaie and the Festival de danse de Cannes

 “Human life is mysterious, for human beings are not strong enough to live and die just for themselves. They always want to live for some ideal or other and are quickly tired of living only for themselves. This is the source of the need to die for something, for a “great cause,” as people say. In the past this was considered as the most glorious, heroic and spectacular way to die.” (Yukio Mishima)

 In the history of dance, few choreographers can claim to have been as prolific as Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui: Apocrifu is his fifteenth production in less than seven years.

His work is (notably) distinguished by the diversity and eclectic nature of the language of the forms and idioms of movement as well as the coherence and the consistency of the content. The diverse productions read like the chapters of a single historical novel. And the more we progress in this novel, the more he seems to realise his ambition of rewriting the history of several millennia of Western domination, turning it into a story with no hierarchy, making new bridges towards the ancient cultures of the South and the East.

Apocrifu was created at la Monnaie about two months after Myth, his first production for the Toneelhuis. Myth can be seen as a sort of provisional fusion of Sidi Larbi’s musical and choreographic world: made epic by the framework of stories which are built up, its baroque nature is seen in the language that he develops - hierarchical and full of imagery.

Sidi Larbi subscribes to the idea developed by Joseph Campbell and Stanley Keleman in their work Myth and the Body, according to which, all myths have, finally, a relationship with the body: birth, growth, transformation and death. Or again, that the stories and the mythical imagery have the function of “presenting evocative, poignant images which resonate with the deepest part of what animates us, and then emerge from us to transform into action.”

In Sidi Larbi’s creative process, knowledge and experience are transmitted above all by somatic and physical processes. His work questions and criticises the superiority of the spirit and rationalism of western thought, the negation of the body in most religions as well as the power and manipulation of the written word in our society of knowledge.

At the end of Myth, the apocalyptic scene of the return of a crucified Christ in jeans – “the Christ in all of us” – is preceded by a sort of parable: a bespectacled librarian literally sagging under the weight of his encyclopaedic knowledge.

Apocrifu begins where Myth ended, with more questioning on the power of “writing”. From Marx to Mao via Hitler, from the Bible to the Koran, all the great world ideologies and religions are based on “holy Scriptures”, swearing only by them. They are revered and adored. In their name, heretics are expurgated and condemned. It is the Scriptures that show the way...

The written word fixes a living model as a purely theoretical dogma, permitting the immobilisation of the body’s other centres of knowledge and the possibility of convincing and subjugating the other. The dogma is used as a refuge and a way of escaping one’s responsibilities.

Through the study of historic sources, contemporary theologians, inspired by what we can actually qualify as pagan traditions, demonstrate the claimed uniqueness of the one true “sacred word” through, while these texts are actually apocryphal, rejected, or of the “other.” Any belief evoking a neat, unique and authentic origin is itself a mythical story.

In the wake of such philosophers as Dan Dennett and Richard Dawkins, Sidi Larbi sees a large part of humanity succumbing to “contagious ideas which, like a virus, kidnap our thinking.” To these “great truths,” he opposes relativism, the equivalence of all cultures and of apocryphal texts; the necessity for each individual to assume responsibility for himself and, literally, to stand on his own two feet; the belief in other centres of knowledge in the body, considering that a leg and a foot contain as much knowledge as the brain; and the importance of a living, oral and physical tradition, such as that conveyed and transmitted by dance and polyphonic music.

Brussels, August 2007
Guy Cools

Guy Cools is a playwright dramaturge. He has worked on the creation of many dance productions and written important texts on Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.


©Didier D. Daarwin - AKA Design


This programme is the reflection of A Filetta’s new album Castelli (World Village/Harmonia Mundi, August 2015).

Castelli ...
The castles…
Edifices of the past, places of memory that dominate history but also castles in the sky, sand castles or houses of cards… Impermanence.

This new programme resonates like so much questioning of the dream, nostalgia, illusion, utopia, the meaning of life : what is left of everything you have told me ? What is left of everything we have built or perhaps even everything we thought of building ? Are there still gaps to discover, spaces to imagine, other edifices to conceive?

Doubtless there are, but above all, let's remain what we are, quite simply…

The religious and secular pieces included here, written for theatre, for dance and for cinema, are influenced as much by Shakespeare and Fernando Pessoa as by anonymous writers, all driven by the same humanist vision. With an open-minded musical approach that juggles notions of memory, nostalgia and utopia, these songs also question the meaning of life and seem to echo Jorge Luis Borges’ universally relevant phrase: “Basically, I am all that I ever lost...”

Audio extracts
Clic on an extract :
- Gradualia 29/12

: aucun


© Didier D. Daarwin


Ce concert présente un répertoire de chants sacrés consacrés à la passion du Christ et à la liturgie des défunts.

En Corse, comme dans d’autres îles de la Méditerranée, le rapport à la mort est complexe et omniprésent. La tradition orale vocale s’est largement développée au cours des siècles autour de répertoires consacrés à la passion du Christ et à la liturgie des défunts. La mort arrache en même temps qu’elle réunit et soude ; elle réconcilie aussi, et place la communauté face à une même douleur lui rappelant la précarité de sa condition tout en lui forgeant le sentiment qu’elle partage par là même, un vieux rêve d’éternité.

Ces chants profonds comme la nuit, profonds comme l'espoir nous disent la vie d'une terre très ancienne. Ces chants d'avant le verbe affleurent à nos mémoires comme un antique et tendre souvenir : elles vous parlent à la peau aussi bien qu'à l'oreille, puis elles vous enveloppent dans leur trame légère, tissée d'un fil solide qui jamais ne se rompt. Dominique Bianconi

Audio extracts
Clic on an extract :
- Kyrie
- Rex Tremendae

: aucun


creation site internet en corse : www.castalibre.com