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Choreographic interactions Habib Ben Tanfous

“I like the idea of erasing the barrier between stage and auditorium, of being in a shared space, of thinking that the audience can have an impact on what happens on stage. I’m not a big fan of the fourth wall.”
© Leslie Artamonow
© Leslie Artamonow

ELAN 2023 – CND Lyon

In 2021, CND launched an equal opportunities school for dance called Élan. Students are aged between 15 and 21 and are already in the process of becoming dancers. The aim of the training at Élan is to open the way to a professional dance career. Élan is a space for inventiveness, experimentation, research and training, enabling young dancers to discover and explore new artistic fields together.

Contacted by Julie Guibert, the former director of the Opéra National de Lyon, Habib Ben Tanfous was given free rein to develop a three-day training course. He decided to work with the young people on the notion of physical fragility, the body as an “archive”. How do we distance ourselves from the idea of a high-performance body where technique is not the starting point but rather something that accompanies one’s body?

Capture d’écran 2023-12-12 à 13.04.05

Orchestre vide (creation 2025-2026)

“For one night, we plunge ourselves into a place where everything is possible. A karaoke where, for an instant, complex beings try their hand at a song and lose themselves in it. Between delirium and reality, between the visible and the invisible. Five characters, as eclectic as they are unique, tell their stories through the words of songs from an era they never knew.”

Why include the audience?

Karaoke here is a context, a place of possibilities, an ecosystem where people meet. Everyone participating can experience a totally different evening. 
Habib wants to create a place where you can become a “fantasy being”, without thinking you’re a big singing star. When you go to a karaoke bar, an out of the ordinary place, you are transformed. A person who is introverted in daily life can become Céline Dion for the duration of a song.

 This creation of around 45 minutes will be part of an evening that offers the prospect of an endless night. 

What needs to be done to make this a shared space?

For this creation, Habib would like to choose a shared space outside a conventional theatre, without an auditorium, to break away from conventional theatricality. Residencies will be organised as an open laboratory to explore how audiences can interact on stage, perhaps for the duration of a slow dance. During these residencies, participants will be informed beforehand that they will be asked to take an active part in the piece.

Residence at La Bellone : (April 2024)
Residence in Austria : (6-10 Mai 2024)

Portrait Habib Ben Tanfous