(on est déjà né.es)
In 2020 and 2021, Nadia Beugré met members from the transgender community in Abidjan.
Assigned as boys, they are navigating between genders with a fierce freedom in a very patriarchal society that, at best, pretends not to see them.
Hairdressers by day, dancefloor divas by night, they live both exposed and underground, flowing from parallel circuits to solidarity networks and invent their own dances which, mixing voguing and Coupé Décalé, make the nights of Abidjan.
For Abidjan’s people, they are the "crazy" ones, the "sissies", conveniently forgetting that their own wives, their own daughters are being braided each month in their salons.
Following Legacy and L'Homme rare, Nadia Beugré pursues her research on gender and identity, but also on those she calls the "stranded", the misfits, those from the margins, from the periphery, those who are rejected or ignored. She keeps interrogating assignations and roles in the family, in the society, in history, the roles you are given and those you take.
"One day, a spectator of 10,000 gestes by Boris Charmatz, a piece in which I am in a thong and bra, asked me after the show why I had chosen this 'role'. But why, of all the other performers on stage (we are more than 20!), did she ask me that, and what 'role' was she referring to? I realised that I was missing something in the way I was being looked at. As I wasn't playing any role… I realized how much people's perception often locks you into boxes, as a black woman on a European stage for example, boxes over which you have no control.
So what interests me in 'Les folles' as people called them, ignoring the power of madness, is precisely their audacity in thwarting the roles of a society that imposes them on each of its members, from childhood to death.
In a society that would like to make them invisible, they take up space, as much space as possible.
In the huge market of Yopougon, a working-class district in Abidjan, everyone knows where they work. Fearless, they staged their own life, they invent their own places, they build their own world. If life is a ring, as used to say Béatrice Kombé, they are here to fight with incredible courage and creativity. In this respect, they fully belong to this young generation who, every day, in Abidjan as in the rest of the country, has to invent the means of its own survival.”
This piece was built on extensive periods of research and work in Abidjan, encountering members of the community, following them in their daily routine, sharing their stories.
The cast mixes non-professional performers with local dancers and two performers from Europe.
Residency periods will take place from August 2022 to May 2023, between Abidjan, Montpellier and
11 May 2023, Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels
CAST (in progress)
Beyoncé, Canel, Jhaya Caupenne, Taylor Dear, Acauã El Bandide Shereya, Kevin Kero
Christian Romain Kossa, Adonis Nebié
→ 11-14 May2023 | Théâtre Le Rideau Brussels | Kunstenfestivaldesarts
→ 16-18 June 2023 | Frascati Amsterdam | Holland Festival
→ 21-22 June 2023 | Théâtre La Vignette Montpellier | Montpellier Danse
→ 10-11 August 2023 | HAU / Hebbel am Ufer Berlin | Tanz im August