Sofiane and Selma Ouissi (TN)

The Ouissi’s (Brother and sister) are two main figures of the current Arab dance scene. They have been performing and creating choreographies together since the beginning of their careers. Selma and Sofiane Ouissi grew up dancing together until life separated them. With one based in Tunis and the other in Paris, they continue their dance practice via Skype. Using the internet as a paradoxical mode of closeness, Selma and Sofiane’s performance Here(s) negotiates contradiction, uncertainty, proximity and distance. They attended the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Tunis before moving to Paris to study with Raza Hamadi at L’Espace Pléiade. They have performed with major Tunisian and international theatre directors and choreographers, including Fadhel Jaziri, Martino Muller, Hichem Rostom and Compagnie Michèle Anne de Mey.
Choreographers, dancers, performers and filmmakers, Selma and Sofiane Oussi are both behind Dream City, a biennale in a public space in Tunis. As part of their artistic, social, and political engagement, Sofiane and Selma are currently leading a collective project in northwest Tunisia in an attempt to encourage regional development in the country postrevolution. With the Popular Spaces Art Factories they hope to re-energize certain rural spaces in great difficulty, among them Sejnane, centered around a group of women potters.
As the result of these numerous sessions of observation, discussion, and shared experiences, Selma and Sofiane Ouissi invented a new choreographic composition inspired directly by the repetitive gestures carried out by these women with their hands. By estheticizing these gestures and detaching them from their raw material, they create an abstract, sensual choreography in which the hands once again play the leading role. The film was shot in the heart of Sejnane, between heaven and earth, in harmony with the elements - and even its sounds, collected on site, contribute to the spectator’s immersion. Projected into the framework of Intense Proximity, Laaroussa is testament to the great intimacy between the artists and women that drove this unpretentious work. Beyond these intersecting lives, this project questions the power of art faced with the desire for a better life.




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