Fatou Cissé

Look at me again, Fatou Cissé's solo, was met with success throughout Europe in 2013. In that show, the choreographer talked about the place of women in Senegal, and in particular about the ambiguity of a country which is modernising faster and faster but where the weight of tradition remains unchanged. She had already worked on that theme with her first solo, Xalaat (“Thoughts” in Wolof), and continues her exploration with her first group play: The Ball of the Circle. Having learned classical and modern dance with her father, former director of the Ballet National du Sénégal, Fatou Cissé studied Senegalese and Guinean traditional dances before discovering, in the early 2000s, contemporary forms of choreographic creation. After joining choreographer Andréya Ouamba and the company 1er Temps, she slowly developed a style characterised by the extreme attention she pays to postures, glances, and gestures, inspired in particular by the “manners” that accompany speech in West Africa. Her very focused and precise dance plays with space and time as with a rubber band, moving from an intimate whisper to a deliberate theatricality from one moment to the next.

Portrait of Fatou Cissé © photos Antoine Tempé