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Loïc Touzé & Latifa Laâbissi



ENSATT Studio Lerrant


Ballet Lorraine 625x230

Dance and Performance

Performance is at the heart of this Biennale edition. Learn more and discover the shows.


Things to see


Loic Touzé Latifa Laâbissi

LOVE, a piece in capital letters. Or how, in 2003, Loïc Touzé took stock of ten years of work in conceptual and performance dance, and shifted it to cabaret to get closer to “the worst in contemporary dance.”


Questions to Loïc Touzé.

LOVE is a piece from 2003, at a turning point in dance and, more broadly, in the performing arts (strikes by temporary show-business workers). With hindsight, why is this piece a kind of manifesto?
The piece was created for the Mettre en Scène Festival which devoted that year’s show theme to the cause of temporary event workers. Half of the time it took to create the piece was spent on activism alongside the entire team (meetings, demonstrations). It was the energy of a militant revolt that fed the energy of LOVE. If it’s a manifesto, it would be because the work benefits from ten years of a conceptual and performance landscape. It’s a piece that emerges, derives, feeds and clothes itself from the dual performance and conceptual world.

LOVE returns to the theatre, after a series of performances in alternative settings such as vacant lots and art centres. What were the limitations to that exercise?
Believing at the time that changing the position of the spectators – moving them around, putting them in beds, hovering over the choreographic work, making them a full participant in the performance – would change their point of view and perception. The limitations we discovered were that the spectators always reposition themselves in a cultural relationship, facing the observed object. It’s not by changing the vantage point of the spectators that you change their view. You would have to do things in such a way that the work contains a missing place, that of the spectator, so that it can be revealed. LOVE went back to the stage because I was thinking at the time that we mustn’t abandon the theatre.

There is some "ne work with facial expressions, which is a break from the neutrality of contemporary dance: what avenues did you explore?
We took inspiration from a corpus of striking images: Valeska Gert and Kazuo Ohno. And then some whimsical borrowings from mime – the poor cousin of contemporary dance – especially Decroux. We wanted to get closer to the worst of contemporary dance, the worst of mime and pantomime. The reason was quite simple: I think that part of my work touches on cabaret or comes from a taste for cabaret. Because what interests me in cabaret is the proximity of the show space: a limited space in which we see the faces and hands as the first signs of the imaginary construction of the artist. And this construction is shared with the audience.
We watched a lot of silent movies: Ivan the Terrible by Eisenstein, Keaton, Chaplin, Tati… a large body of burlesque cinema inspired our work. We did tap-dancing, we watched American music-hall comedies, Savion Glover and Faces by Cassavetes. Then drawings by Carlo Blasi that reproduce diagrams of skeletons in positions of intentionality. For example: a skeleton acting amazed or despondent.

Nudity was a common state in conceptual dance. What is the purpose of nudity in LOVE?
We first saw nudity as a useful experience in the process of creating the animal sequence. To understand it, we had to be naked. The skin becomes a sensor for detecting information. The entire perceptive state is modi!ed by not having fabric on the body. This is in contrast with the time when nudity was represented by nudity. This is a nudity that never shows a body naked or exhibited as naked. It’s a nudity that transforms, for example, the illuminated space of the scene.

When did the title come to you?
The initial title was Classique. The idea was to create a classic. But during the first improvisations that I filmed, Yves-Noël Genod wrote LOVE with white chalk on the studio wall. We never erased it.


"I think that part of my work touches on cabaret : a limited space in which we see the faces and hands as the first signs of the imaginary construction of the artist."

Loïc Touzé

ENSATT Studio Lerrant

Dates et horaires

  • Wed 17 Sep21:00
  • Thu 18 Sep21:00
  • Durée : 1h05 environ


  • Plein tarif 20€
  • Tarif réduit 17€


  • CatégorieB

Piece for 6 dancers — 2003 — Run time 1h05

Conception : Loïc Touzé & Latifa Laâbissi en collaboration avec Jocelyn Cottencin

Danseurs : Loup Abramovici, Alina Bilokon, Rémy Héritier, Yves-Noël Genod, Carole Perdereau, Lina Schlageter — Dispositif scénique : Jocelyn Cottencin — Création lumières : Yannick Fouassier — Régie : Max Potiron

Production association ORO – 391. Production déléguée ORO – Coproduction Théâtre national de Bretagne / Rennes ; CNDC Angers – direction Emmanuelle Huynh – Avec le soutien de Adami, Musiques et danses en Bretagne ORO est soutenu par l’État - Préfet de la région Pays de la Loire - direction régionale des affaires culturelles, la Région Pays de la Loire, la Ville de Nantes, le Département Loire Atlantique et reçoit l’aide de l’Institut Français pour ses projets à l’étranger.

Photo © Jocelyn Cottencin - Portrait © Christophe Raynaud de Lage

To be explored



Performative dances: deframed French choreographies, 1990-2010.

Café Danse - CCI, Palais du Commerce
Wed 17, 4 pm - Free Entry

Jan Fabre

Jan Fabre is Laurent Goumarre’s special guest for a conversation that’s open to the public. 

Théâtre Les Ateliers
Sat 20, 2pm - Free entry


Performance: a history in commentary and images. This lecture, open to all, offers a journey through the history of performance with video excerpts enriched by commentaries. 

Café Danse - CCI, Palais du Commerce
Fri 19, 6pm - Free entry


Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present by Matthew Akers. A retrospective of her work which will be the opportunity for Abramović to answer the  question she is constantly asked: how is this art?

Cinéma Le Comoedia
Sun 21, 11.15am – Single price: €4.80


An event around the DVD Anna Halprin, Danser sa vie,  just released in France. An invitation to discover the career of this wonderful dancer through a historical presentation, screenings, and an exploration of the body. 

Théâtre Les Ateliers
Sat 27, 5.30pm - Free entry

Frigo Group

Performance art was one of the forms of artistic action produced by the Frigo group in Lyon in the 1980s. The Biennale has invited the players in that adventure to comment on a screening of their major performances of the time. 

Café Danse - CCI, Palais du Commerce
Sat 13 at 2pm

To be experienced


Ambra Senatore

Asta, an auction
Performance: Ambra holds an auction of everyday acts. The winning bidder will have their purchase performed at their home by Ambra Senatore.

Café Danse - CCI, Palais du Commerce
Thu 18, 12.30-2.30pm

Free entry 


Les Thermes

France Distraction - Living installation

A swimming pool filled with 25,000 black balls. On each ball, inscriptions borrowed from the Stoics. All you need to do is dive in, for a perfectly
literal immersion in a “big bath of morality”. A philosophical yet highly entertaining experience.

Café Danse - Palais du commerce
Wed 10, 17 and 24 and Sat 13 and 27, 1-5pm

Free entry, unlimited experimentation (subject to space)

Sat 20 at 2.30pm, 4pm and 5.30pm
Experiment assisted by Julien Fournet and Alice Popieul.

Free entry, booking required at ticket office

Thu 18 and Fri 19
Assisted experimentation, for schools only (booking required)