Two years ago, Nadia Beugré met members of the transgender community in Abidjan, where she herself grew up. Hairdressers by day, divas on the dance floor by night – this is how many of them live in both the visible and invisible parts of a very patriarchal society, in parallel circles and solidarity networks. They invent their own dances, which characterize the nights of Abidjan with a mixture of voguing and coupé-décalé. In the intimate and at the same time explosive dance performance “Prophétique (On est déjà né-es)” the theater becomes a hair salon, a club, and the theater again, just as bodies can be fluid. And dance becomes a language of solidarity.
Duration: ca. 1 h 10 min
Language: French, Nouchi, brazilian Portuguese with german and english supertitles.
Audience discussion following the performance on Fr. 27.10. moderated by Prof. Katharina Christl (Head of Master Choreography Programme Palucca University of Dance Dresden)
Nadia Beugré was born in the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. She was first trained in traditional dance and then was a founding member of Béatrice Kombé’s groundbreaking all-female dance ensemble Tché-Tché, with whom she toured over several years. After Beatrice Kombé’s death, she attended École des sables – Senegal and in 2009 participated in Ex.e.r.ce., Mathilde Monnier’s program for emerging choreographers in Montpellier. She soon brought her own productions to the stage, combining traditional folk dances, contemporary experimental dance and urban/hip-hop influences. Beugré also performs in works by choreographers such as Alain Buffard, Seydou Borooder, Dorothée Munyaneza, Faustin Linyekula and Boris Charmatz. In 2017, Nadia Beugré began a five-year artist residency at De Vooruit in Ghent. In addition, Nadia Beugré founded her Compagnie Libr’Arts in Montpellier, a platform for production, touring and training between France and the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.
Beyoncé is a dancer, performer and braider and grew up in Abidjan. In 2009 and 2010, she took part in the TV programme Wozo Vacances, then in 2021 in the youth TV programme Variestocope with the group Wabononou Système. In the meantime, she has been training in choreographic workshops with Merlin Bleriot Nyakam (2018), Jenny Mezile (2019) and Nadia Beugré (2022), while performing occasionally with artists from the Ivorian music scene such as Vitale and choreographers such as Krimbo Delagringe (2013), Yves Thomas Ble (2015) and Georges Momboye (2020). She joined the Prophétique project in 2022.
Jhaya Caupenne was born in Brussels of Ivorian parents, Jhaya Caupenne is a non-binary transgender performer. Passionate about different dance styles such as hip-hop, krump and afro, it is voguing that has allowed her to emancipate herself and embrace her difference. Jhaya has performed with Pitcho Womba Konga (Fire will become ashes but not now) at the KVS, with Opera Ballet Vlanderen, with Marco Torrice (Melting Pot), and with Marcos Arriola at Les Halles de Schaerbeek (Cruce). Jhaya is also connected to various Belgian LGBTQIA+ associations and collectives such as Rituals Benediction, Queer futur Club, Pink screens, Gay Haze, Sassy cabaret, La Garçonnière production. She met Nadia Beugré in Brussels in 2021, who invited her to Abidjan in August 2022, and has since been one of the performers of Prophétique (on est déjà né.es).
Taylor Dear: As a child in Abidjan, Taylor feels different. Mockery from other children and inappropriate remarks from adults were part of her daily routine. When moving house at the age of 16, she meets a friend who introduced her to photo shoots and social networking. She starts posting photos on Facebook to gain influence and visibility in the Swag movement, and then Instagram: “It was a real eye-opener, I met people like me, special, neglected, misunderstood. I quickly gained confidence. I wanted to share my daily life, to get rid of shyness and frustration. It was also about escaping the blows and aggression of the street. Since then, Tik tok has been my home, my refuge, the place where I can feel like me.” Taylor also campaigns for LGBT rights in Côte d’Ivoire and features in the video cest paé c’est Côte d’Ivoire by Ivorian rapper Elown. With the Libr’Arts company, through a series of training courses in 2022, followed by a creative residency, she discovered “another universe, a vision of the world, another framework for expression and exchange.”
Kevin Sery was born in 1996 in Côte d’Ivoire. Kevin started dancing at the age of 9 at school and in his neighbourhood. With a passion for dance, he took part in 2005 in Wozo Vacances, a very popular dance reality show for children and teenagers, and again in 2013, under the direction of choreographer Henri Joel. He then joined the Moaye Ivoire company directed by Amany Stéphane Kouassi. As part of the company, he took part in the Ouagadougou International Festival, the 8th Jeux de la Francophonie, and various concerts at the Palais de la Culture and Hôtel Ivoire. Elysée Goli wrote for him the solo En-Ze-Li. In 2021, he met Nadia Beugré, who invited him after several workshops to work on her creation.
Acauã El Bandide Shereya was born in Fortaleza, Brazil. Acauã was brought up by women teachers and her grandfather a craftsman. She graduated in theatre from IFCE (2009), then in dance from the Curso Técnico em Dança (2012), before taking the Performing Art Advanced Programme (PACAP3) at Fórum Dança in Portugal (2019). She uses the ‘Gambiarra’ to explore possible images of democracy through queer performing bodies. Her artistic universe juxtaposes vulnerability and confusion, dream and nightmare, delicacy and obscenity.
She completed the master’s programme at the CCN de Montpellier in 2022, during which she met Nadia Beugré and developed personal projects: Além de vocês, o que tem para comer hoje? presented at the Centre National de la Danse near Paris in 2023 and Nuages Clouds Nuvens, a choreographic and sound project for children. As a performer, she appeared in Apocalypso, a duet danced with and devised by Luara Raio, Feijoada by Calixto Neto and Prophétique (on est déjà né.es) by Nadia Beugré in 2023. Acauã is supported by La Briqueterie – CDCN du Val-de-Marne 2022/2023 and lives at Maison Rester. Étranger in the Paris region.
Canel Tra is an Ivorian activist with the association Fondygender, campaigning for the cause of LGBT+ people in Ivory Coast, Canel began to feel like a girl at the age of 4. She says: “It hasn’t been easy for me, and in any case, nothing has ever been easy for me, especially in my neighbourhood, where I was called a ‘genie’ – neither a man nor a woman – and at school. That gave me the courage to speak out.” In 2022, she spoke openly about her identity as a transgender woman on an Ivorian television channel. That same year, she met Nadia Beugré and took part in workshops before being chosen for Prophétique (on est déjà né.es).
Artistic Direction: Nadia Beugré
Scenography: Jean-Christophe Lanquetin
Light Design: Anthony Merlaud
With: Beyoncé, Canel, Jhaya Caupenne, Taylor Dear, Acauã El Bandide Shereya, Kevin Kero
Assistant: Christian Romain, Kossa Adonis Nebié
Production: Libr’Arts / Virginie Dupray
Co-Production: Kunstenfestivaldesarts Théâtre Le Rideau Bruxelles, Points Communs Cergy Pontoise, Montpellier Danse, Centre Pompidou Paris, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Holland Festival Amsterdam, ICI – Centre Chorégraphique National de Montpellier Occitanie / direction : Christian Rizzo in the framework of the Accueil-Studio programme, Culturescapes 2023 Sahara, La place de la danse CDCN Toulouse Occitanie, théâtre Garonne scène européenne – Toulouse, Fonds Transfabrik – Fonds franco-allemand pour le spectacle vivant, Tanz im August / HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Spielart Festival Munich, Theater Freiburg, Africa Moment
With support from: DRAC Occitanie – Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication.