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Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2007 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Acogny, Germaine (Senegal)

Video producer : Maison de la Danse

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon


Maison de la Danse de Lyon 2007 - Director : Picq, Charles

Choreographer(s) : Acogny, Germaine (Senegal)

Video producer : Maison de la Danse

Integral video available at Maison de la danse de Lyon


“Waxtaan” is a Wolof word that means “discussion” or “lengthy deliberation”. This new choreographic work is based 
on traditional dances – the most beautiful and best suited to this creation – from many African countries. The company brings out their incredible richness of gesture and rhythm and takes a new look at these dances, which have an image of popular folklore. The reinterpretation of these traditional dances is firmly contemporary, as are the choreographic tools employed to reconstruct and recompose them. The originality of the work lies not only in its treatment of traditional dances. It also takes a critical look at the men who govern us. Indeed, the dancers parody heads of state, ministers, politicians, the men in power. They call them to account through dance in the hope that things might really change and that the economic, social and cultural situation will deteriorate no further.  

“Inspired equally by western contemporary dance and many traditional African dances, Waxtaan shows all the faces of Africa, the darkest as well as the most joyful, the most modern as well as the most traditional. The dance is energetic, vigorous, acrobatic even, and still manages to blow the lid off serious matters, hypocrisy and social domination.”

“ ‘Waxtaan', which she (Germaine Acogny) devised with her son Patrick Acogny during a residence at Château Rouge (Annemasse), is typical of the energy and engagement of this great lady: a commentary on men in power as much as a contemporary performance, pulsing with the traditions (not the folklore) of Mali, Guinea, Benin, Senegal, Burkina Faso, etc.”

Source : Programme de salle Maison de la Danse

Acogny, Germaine

Senegalese and French, she participated from 1962 till 1965 at the formation at the Simon Siegel’s school (the director was Ms Marguerite Lamotte) in Paris and received a diploma of physical education and harmonious gymnastics. Then, she founded her first dance studio in Dakar, 1968. Thanks to the influence of the dances she had inherited from her grandmother, a Yoruba priest, and to her studies of traditional African dances and Occidental dances (classic, modern) in Paris and New York, Germaine Acogny created her own technique of Modern African Dance and is considered as the “mother of Contemporary African dance”.

Between 1977 and 1982 she was artistic director of MUDRA AFRIQUE (Dakar), created by Maurice Béjart and the Senegalese president and poet Leopold Sedar Senghor. Once Mudra Afrique had closed, she moved to Brussels to work with Maurice Béjart’s company, she organised international African dance workshops, which showed a great success among the European students.  Together with her husband, Helmut Vogt, she sets up in 1985, in Toulouse, France, the “Studio-Ecole-Ballet-Théâtre du 3è Monde”.

After having been away from the stage for several years, Germaine Acogny has her come back as a dancer and choreographer in 1987. She works with Peter Gabriel for a video clip and creates her solo “Sahel”.  In 1995, she decides to go back to Senegal, with the aim of creating an International Centre for Traditional and Contemporary African Dances achieved in 2004 - L’Ecole des Sables - a meeting point for dancers coming from Africa and from all over the world, a place of professional education for dancers from the whole of Africa with the aim to guide them towards a Contemporary African Dance. In 1997, Germaine Acogny becomes Artistic Director of the « Dance section of Afrique en Creations » in Paris, a function she held until September 2000. 

Her solo “Tchouraï”, created in 2001 choreographied by Sophiatou Kossoko, was successfully touring until 2008. In 2003/2004, she created the piece “Fagaala”, for her company JANT-BI, based on the genocide in Rwanda. Since January 2015 she submitted the Artistic Direction of the Ecole des Sables to her son Patrick Acogny.

Source : Ecole des sables 's website

More information :

Picq, Charles

Author, filmmaker and video artist Charles Picq entered working life in the 70s through theatre and photography. A- fter resuming his studies (Maîtrise de Linguistique - Lyon ii, Maîtrise des sciences et Techniques de la Communication - grenoble iii), he then focused on video, first in the field of fine arts at the espace Lyonnais d'art Contemporain (eLaC) and with the group « Frigo », and then in dance.
 On creation of the Maison de la Danse in Lyon in 1980, he was asked to undertake a video documentation project that he has continued ever since. During the ‘80s, a decade marked in France by the explosion of contemporary dance and the development of video, he met numerous artists such as andy Degroat, Dominique Bagouet, Carolyn Carlson, régine Chopinot, susanne Linke, Joëlle Bouvier and regis Obadia, Michel Kelemenis. He worked in the creative field with installations and on-stage video, as well as in television with recorded shows, entertainment and documentaries.

His work with Dominique Bagouet (80-90) was a unique encounter. He documents his creativity, assisting with Le Crawl de Lucien and co-directing with his films Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux and 10 anges. in the 90s he became director of video development for the Maison de la Danse and worked, with the support of guy Darmet and his team, in the growing space of theatre video through several initiatives:
     - He founded a video library of dance films with free public access. This was a first for France. Continuing the video documentation of theatre performances, he organised their management and storage.
     - He promoted the creation of a video-bar and projection room, both dedicated to welcoming school pupils.
     - He started «présentations de saisons» in pictures.
     - He oversaw the DVD publication of Le tour du monde en 80 danses, a pocket video library produced by the Maison de la Danse for the educational sector.

More recently, he launched the series “scènes d'écran” for television and online. He undertook the video library's digital conversion and created the website, an international video library for dance online.

His main documentaries are: enchaînement, Planète Bagouet, Montpellier le saut de l'ange, Carolyn Carlson, a woman of many faces, grand ecart, Mama africa, C'est pas facile, Lyon, le pas de deux d'une ville, Le Défilé, Un rêve de cirque.

He has also produced theatre films: Song, Vu d'ici (Carolyn Carlson), Tant Mieux, Tant Mieux, 10 anges, Necesito and So schnell, (Dominique Bagouet), Im bade wannen, Flut and Wandelung (Susanne Linke), Le Cabaret Latin (Karine Saporta), La danse du temps (Régine Chopinot), Nuit Blanche (Abou Lagraa), Le Témoin (Claude Brumachon), Corps est graphique (Käfig), Seule et WMD (Françoise et Dominique Dupuy), La Veillée des abysses (James Thiérrée), Agwa (Mourad Merzouki), Fuenteovejuna (Antonio Gades), Blue Lady revistied (Carolyn Carlson).

Source : Maison de la Danse


Choreography : Germaine Acogny, Patrick Acogny

Interpretation : Babacar Ba, Ciré Beye, Abdou Diop, André Drame, Abdoulaye Kane, Ousmane N'Diaye (dit Bané), Pape Ibrahima N'Diaye (dit Kaolack), Bertrand Tchébé Saky, Abib Sow

Set design : Patrick Acogny

Original music : Oumar Fandy Diop et les musiciens de l'École des Sables

Live music : Oumar Fandy Diop, Ndeye Seck, Pape Badara Fall, Abdoulaye Diop, Ousmane Sene

Lights : Horst Mühlberger

Costumes : Germaine Acogny, Patrick Acogny

Production / Coproduction of the choreographic work : Maison de la Danse/Lyon, Fondation Prince Claus/Pays- Bas, Het MuziekTheater/Amsterdam, Grand Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg, SEBT 3ème Monde/Toulouse
, Château Rouge/ Annemasse (résidence)

Production / Coproduction of the video work : Maison de la Danse 

Duration : 60'

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