Compagnie Kafig Launches 2014 UK Tour Today
Paris-based Compagnie Käfig will visit the UK in 2014, with a nationwide tour from today, 25 March to 18 April and two national press nights in Milton Keynes on Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 March. In the past 17 years, Compagnie Käfig has given over 2200 performances in 61 countries in front of more than 1 million people. However, they rarely perform in the UK, and this is rare and special visit is by the kind invitation of Dance Consortium.
In 2014, Compagnie Käfig will be presenting Boxe Boxe, a breath-taking show which fuses the noble art of boxing with dance. With choreography by Artistic Director Mourad Merzouki, the brutality and elegance of both these contrasting worlds collide in a spine-tingling show which packs a knock-out punch. As Merzouki explains: "...each aspect of boxing has an equivalent in choreography: the ring and the stage, the gong and the curtain going up, the referee and the eagle-eyed critics - for me there are all kinds of similarities. So there's a mix - the excitement of combat and fear of the spectators: the gut fear of getting badly knocked about, of taking a licking, together with that great feeling of abandoning yourself, of achieving absolute fulfilment in that magic moment on stage or in the ring."
Eight exceptional dancers blend martial arts, street and contemporary dance to create a spirited and stunning fusion of hip-hop and fisticuffs. Boxe Boxe draws on the rich pageantry and theatricality of boxing where bright red gloves effortlessly morph into puppets and punch balls explode like featherweight balloons. The dancers move in perfect unison to live music from the Debussy String Quartet, with beautifully rendered classical music including Schubert, Ravel, Philip Glass and Glenn Miller. The choice and meticulous timing of the music injects a further dash of romanticism and melancholy into scenes.
Mourad Merzouki, who founded Compagnie Käfig in 1996, began practicing martial arts and circus arts when only seven years old. At the age of fifteen, he encountered hip-hop culture for the first time and through it, he discovered dance. He quickly decided to develop this form of street art while also experimenting with other choreographic styles. Käfig means 'cage' in Arabic and German.
In June 2009, Mourad Merzouki was appointed director of the Centre chorégraphique National de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne. He continues to develop his projects there.
Compagnie Käfig's UK tour is organised by Dance Consortium. For further information please visit www.danceconsortium.com.
Photo by Michel Cavalca