Metropolis Lyon.  The Rillieux children prepare a haka to welcome the All-Blacks

Metropolis Lyon. The Rillieux children prepare a haka to welcome the All-Blacks

The adventure began in the spring with the local rugby club. Today, two new partners join the adventure to engage about forty children in the Haka dance choreographed by professional dancers. It will be performed at the Bellecour Theater on September 29, the day the New Zealanders take on Italy in Lyon.


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The Haka is a lyrical dance in Maori culture. Today, this ritual, at the crossroads of dance and rugby, is repeated before every match by the New Zealand national team. The director of the Center National de Danse de Réliau (CCNR), Yuval Beck, has always been interested in folklore and ritual. He also took inspiration from the Haka to create one of his pieces, “Acta Est Fabula”, in 2018.

To the sound of African rhythm, the children begin the haka in single file. The picture is mm


“What if we keep a frown while moving?” suggests Noemi de Almeida Ferreira, who trains the three sets separately, with Sofiane Destanté. The picture is mm


Noemi de Almeida Ferreira and Sofiane Destante, professional dancers from the National Dance Center of Realio, lead “Write your own haka” workshops. The picture is mm


The haka will be performed on September 29 at Place Bellecour in Lyon. The picture is mm


One rehearsal per week

The workshops began normally last May and June with young licensed rugby players for Rillieux Rugby Club. At the beginning of the academic year, two new partners complement the workforce: Leo Lagrange, who manages the Relieu leisure centers and social centres.

At an average workshop of one hour and 15 minutes per week, about fifty children divide into three distinct groups, and repeat the movements of their ancestors, to the beat of an African rhythm. The choreography is provided by professional dancers from CCNR, Noémie, Simone and Sofiane who supervise the progress of the groups. Everyone will gather on the Bellecour stage on September 29 for a giant, participatory Hakka dance.

Read also:

>> “Write your own haka”, between dance and rugby

“The crying and grimacing must be scary.”

The second rehearsal will take place on Wednesday, September 13, in the courtyard of the Samail Community Center. Rima, Paulina, Jannat, Christopher, Tasneem, Jordan, Clarice, Laura, Enas, Asia, and Canada try to pay attention to Sufyan’s instructions. They only have four sessions to sequence four scenes created by the dancers. “It’s not much to memorize,” Sufyan admits. But they are in good shape.”

Noémie continues to work. “After the single file, we grimace and move aside. We can keep a grimace during the flight. Let’s try? » and show the steps of building the sequence little by little until the final scream. “The purpose of the grimace, like the scream, is to intimidate, to frighten,” the young woman explains, matching the gesture. with words.

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Go to the end

The ritual haka for rugby players gradually becomes the choreographic haka for children. The city of Saint-Denis, on the outskirts of Paris, replicated the project that CCNR is still building. The restoration took place on Sunday, September 16, at 3 p.m., as part of the Saint-Denis Festival.

In Relieu, Sofiane and Noemi conclude this second training session with traditional applause. “It was great, you made good progress,” encourages Sufyan. See you next week! » Everyone promised to go to the end.

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