Retour à Berratham

de Laurent Mauvignier

  • Dance
  • Show
The 2015 archive

Angelin Preljocaj

Aix-en-Provence / Created in 2015

Retour à Berratham © Christophe Raynaud de Lage


A young man returns to Berratham, a place he left just before the war, leaving Katja behind. He is obsessed with the idea of keeping the promise he made her to come find her again. But he doesn't recognise the place where he spent his childhood, now little more than ruins, or the people still living there, left to their own devices... With this creation, Angelin Preljocaj returns to the Cour d'honneur of the Palais des papes, for another collaboration with novelist Laurent Mauvignier. Writing the libretto of this choreographic tragedy, he asks fourteen performers, dancers and actors, to be the witnesses of the repercussions of war on consciences. It isn't the first time the choreographer, born in France to Albanian political refugees, marries love to violence in one of his ballets. From Romeo and Juliet to “N” or And Then, One Thousand Years of Peace, his work is haunted by the dark metaphors of history. A theme that artist Adel Abdessemed knows perfectly well, too; his artistic practice, sometimes deemed radical, is a permanent questioning about violence and its cognitive power. For the show, he has come up with a zone able to multiply the dramatic intensity of those places where the men and women of Berratham need nothing more than a glance to survive.

A French artist born in 1971 in Constantine, Algeria, Adel Abdessemed studied at the High School of Fine Arts in Batna and Algiers before coming to France to attend the École nationale des Beaux Arts in Lyon. After living in the Cité internationale des arts in Paris, he left for New York for a resience at the PS1 Contemporary Art Center. He now lives and works in London. The author of a protean body of work (sculpture, drawings, photographs, video), Adel Abdessemed uncompromisingly shows the atrocities of our societies and the convulsive movements that go through our modern world.

Born in 1967, Laurent Mauvignier is a graduate of the École supérieure des Beaux-Arts of Tours, his hometown. In 1999, his first novel, Loin d'eux (Far from Them), is published by the Éditions de Minuit, which will remain his publisher throughout his career. In 2011, he publishes What I Call Oblivion, a novel based on a true story, which has already served as the inspiration for a ballet by Angelin Preljocaj. His texts, translated into several languages, reject silence and never forget “the wounded beings who try to resist the flow of History” (Marine Landrot, Télérama). Autour du monde (Around the World) is his latest novel.


Choreography and direction Angelin Preljocaj
Text Laurent Mauvignier
Scenography Adel Abdessemed 
Light Cécile Giovansili-Vissière
Sound creation 79D assisté de Didier Muntaner 
additional music Georg Friedrich Haendel, Fatima Miranda, Abigail Mead
Costumes Sophie Gehllert 
Assistant at the artistic direction Youri Aharon Van den Bosch
Choreology Dany Lévêque

With Virginie Caussin, Laurent Cazanave, Aurélien Charrier, Fabrizio Clemente, Baptiste Coissieu, Margaux Coucharrière, Emma Gustafsson, Caroline Jaubert, Émilie Lalande, Barbara Sarreau, Niels Schneider, Cecilia Torres Morillo, Liam Warren, Nicolas Zemmour


Production Ballet Preljocaj
Coproduction Festival d'Avignon, Théâtre National de Chaillot, Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Grand Théâtre de Provence,Théâtre des Salins
With the support of Association Beaumarchais-SACD, Adami
The Festival d'Avignon receives support of the BNP Paribas Foundation for the representations of Retour à Berratham

Practical infos



Read more