MOUVOIR – École des Sables, Stephanie Thiersch & Alesandra Seutin

Big Stage
16.05.2024 – 18.05.2024
Die Tänzer*innen tanzen in gebeugter Haltung in schwarz-weißen Kostümen
Tänzer und Tänzerin umarmen sich in der mitte der Bühne
Tänzer streckt sich über Bühne, Gruppe dahinter

To begin again

Isn’t to go backwards

But to decide to go on.

(Amanda Gorman)

Beneath the canvas of global rhythms, UNTIL THE BEGINNINGS orchestrates a vibrant dance-poem that brings together an international team of eight dancers from Senegal, Germany and France along with musicians from the field of percussion and rap.
The directors Alesandra Seutin (Artistic Director École des Sables, Senegal) and Stephanie Thiersch (Artistic Director MOUVOIR, Germany) of diverse realms, weave a choreographic tapestry challenging the essence of hospitality.
Current political enfoldings of the criminalisation of hospitality in many parts of the world as well as concepts of Jacques Derrida and Anne Dufourmantelle and utopian common spaces found their way into the project. Together, they embark on a journey of deconstructing the notion of "at-home" and exploring the possibilities of cultivating a shared garden in the tapestry of continuity, cycles, and interconnected threads.

Stephanie Thiersch and MOUVOIR most recently guested at tanzhaus nrw presenting performance concert HELLO TO EMPTINESS in 2022. Authentic as well as experimental, MOUVOIR's multi-layered productions negotiate modern life’s essential fields. As an uncompromising observer, Stephanie Thiersch dissects her environment with MOUVOIR: pop culture, philosophy, and visual arts are her tools. Thiersch sees her choreographic work within a broader conception of interdisciplinary movement research, which currently primarily incorporates music into choreographic thinking.

UNTIL THE BEGINNINGS was created in a transcontinental collaboration with École des Sables and Alesandra Seutin. École des Sables is an international centre for traditional and contemporary African dance, a school for theoretical and practical teaching, a research laboratory, and a place for encounters and exchanges, conferences and artistic residencies for dancers and choreographers from Africa, the African diaspora, and different cultures from around the world. Alesandra Seutin has been the artistic director at École des Sables since 2020. The international performer, choreographer, and lecturer was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. She studied dance in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. She also completed her training at École des Sables in Senegal, where she was a student of Germaine Acogny, who passed on her technique. Today, Alesandra Seutin is an ambassador of this technique, which she teaches at École des Sables as well as around the globe.

Duration: 75 min.

In English, Wolof, Malagasy und French.
With German subtitles.

Accompanying programme

Sat 19.05. 19:00 Physical Introduction

"Thiersch and Seutin manage the balance between a thrilling, energetic dance performance and global rhythms. [...] This is captivating and at the same time leaves room to question one's own views on welcome culture and hospitality."
Claudia Hötzendorfer about the world premiere on Thu 16th May at tanzhaus nrw, Rheinische Post (17th May 2024). Full review of the evening can be found here (in German).

For UNTIL THE BEGINNINGS, WDR visited tanzhaus nrw for the Westart programme. Exciting rehearsal impressions and interviews with the participants were recorded. You can find the 5-minute contribution to the programme from 04.05. here (in German).


Artistic direction: Alesandra Seutin, Stephanie Thiersch; with: Latif Arafan Wa-hab Diedhiou, Nadia Gabrieli Kalati, Cola Lok Yee Ho, Kezia Jonah, Margaux Marielle-Tréhoüart, Alexandre Nodari, Joel Suárez Gómez, Christ Zié; music: Tarang Cissokho, Shelly Quest; concept, stage, choreography: Stephanie Thiersch, Alesandra Seutin & the ensemble; costumes: Lauren Steel; lighting: Begoña Garcia Navas, Ansgar Kluge; sound: Thomas Wegner; arrangements / musical consultancy: Yvan Talbot;; management: Josefine Sautier; production: Sarah Heinrich (MOUVOIR), Hervé Breuil, Paul Sagne (École des Sables); finances: Béla Bisom, transmissions; PR, social media: Nina Lobinger; Press: neurohr & andrä

Produced by MOUVOIR e.V. and Freihandelszone - Ensemblenetzwerk Köln, École des Sables Senegal, co-produced by tanzhaus nrw, Sommerblut Kulturfestival, funded by Kunststiftung NRW, the NATIONAL PERFORMANCE NETWORK. Co-production funding for dance supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Karin and Uwe Hollweg Foundation.

MOUVOIR/Stephanie Thiersch is supported by: Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Cultural Office of the City of Cologne. Supported by the Alliance of International Production Houses, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.