TBA: Bouchra Ouizguen: Ha!
Since TBA has grown into an international festival, we asked curators from around the country to give us the inside scoop on their favorite artists. Read more of their picks.
"I feel that many audiences have no idea about the contemporary dance scene of North Africa, a place where the work is provocative, political, mythic, and ritualistic. This is an important addition to the TBA lineup, as it provides a much needed and different international voice that is often overlooked in the US, and the context for this work—either formal, traditional, minimal, or improvised—comes from a deep cultural and spiritual place housed in the lives of these extraordinary and fearless women.
These performers did not train at an American or European conservatory, nor did they create their work in the ironic and hipster arts city of US. They are not living in a world of shock and awe contemporary performance that serves up immediate gratification. But they are offering a complex portrait of their contemporary experience that achieves a level of depth and meaning that many other artists spend their lives trying to find." —Ben Johnson, independent curator and arts programmer based in Los Angeles
Morrocan choreographer Ouizguen performs alongside three aitas, the traditional caberet singers who live and perform on the margins of Moroccan society. PICA artistic director Angela Mattox told us in our Fall Arts Preview that Ouizguen "creates some of the most experimental rituals I’ve seen with these amazing traditional singers.” These women belong to singing tradition that is both deeply respected and the subject of scorn for its erotic overtones, and Ouizguen's collaboration with them is meant to explore societal constructions of madness and convention.