A boxing ring, a podium, an agora, a stage: the circle described by Fatou Cissé is all that and more. Within it, every gesture, every glance, is pregnant with meaning. It is where one performs the Tanebeer, an ancestral tradition performed exclusively by women in Senegalese society. Once performed at weddings or to honour important people, this ball takes place in the street and in the backyards of popular neighbourhoods. Women are encouraged to act as eccentrically as possible, performing sexually suggestive dances, accompanied by a group of percussionists—the sabar—wearing jewellery, make-up, and special clothes. The Tanebeer is a place of self-realisation, where women can forget about their obligations and about tradition to become who they want to be. But it is also a moment of social regulation, where scores are settles and rivalries and alliances are one and the same. Fatou Cissé surrounds herself with four women and a man, from Senegal and Burkina Faso, and turns this ceremony into a fashion show, halfway between clubbing and traditional dances, social transgression and adherence to the rules of consumer society.
Conception, choreography and spatial disposition Fatou Cissé
Scenography Jean-Christophe Laquetin
Music creation Mor Ndoye Ndiaye
Light Georges Lavaudant
Costumes Madelein Sylla
With Fatou Cissé, Bamba Diagne, Alicia Gomis, Salamata Kobré, Rose Mendy, Mariama Traoré
Production Compagnie Fatou Cissé
Production déléguée Interarts Lausanne
Coproduction Centre de développement chorégraphique Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, Atelier Aex Corps
With the support of l'Institut français dans le cadre du programme Aide à la création, du Programme Pamoja, groupe des États ACP soutenu par l'Union européenne, du Ballet Preljocaj
With the collaboration of the studios Kabako et de l'association 1er Temps
Le Festival d'Avignon received the support of la Fondation BNP Paribas pour les représentations du Bal du Cercle.