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Paris: Everything is in motion: Mehdi Karakoush, who has seen a meteoric rise in recent years, directs the National Dance Center, accompanies Angele on her tour and presents a new show.

A dancer since she was six years old, exposed online during confinement, this voracious creationist, requested two years ago by the Paris Opera, dreams of a world where dance is available to all.

The 36-year-old entertainer laughs: “I am the Minister of Education, I will impose dance without hesitation in all schools!” “We must allow people to continue to dream and escape.”

Of Algerian origin and from a humble background, he himself began to dream of dancing by going to the Théâtre de Suresnes Jean Vilar (Hauts-de-Seine), located near his childhood home, in Rueil-Malmaison.

“One of the first shows I ever went to see? It was here!” recalls the curly-haired choreographer. , when his parents couldn’t stand this kind of outing.

Back to basics

It is in this theater that the Suresnes Cités Danse Festival opens on Friday with its latest creation, “Portrait”, after nine weeks of rehearsals.

A multifaceted “portrait”, a family face. Nine dancers of all ages and backgrounds, dressed in shades of gray to embody the generational mix of lucy antones’ haunting music.

“They find themselves around a table and have to talk in spite of everything. For me, that’s exactly what happens in a family,” he explains.

The creation turned out to be “very strange and very intimate,” especially since he returned to work in his childhood room and drew inspiration from his experience to talk about universal feelings such as rejection or absence.

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“By revealing the fact that we as artists are right.”

Throughout his “success story”, Mehdi Qaraqosh has consistently advocated dance as a “vital dispensation” for society.

Inspired by this desire, the choreographer took over the Center National de Dance (CCN) in Creteil and Val-de-Marne at the beginning of January and says he embraces his new responsibilities with “confidence” and “ambition”.

His art project is simple: “I will continue to develop everything I have done with my company EMKA,” which was created in 2017, he says.

Specifically, “to highlight artists, both confirmed and emerging, to make creativity accessible to all”, but also “to support choreographers who need to develop their work but do not necessarily have the tools”.

At first, the “On danse chez vous!” , whose latest edition featured impromptu dances and dance lessons.

In a good place

Mahdi Karkoush became known while incarcerated, when the montage video caused a stir on social media. He organized a line dance marathon that raised €15,000 for the Paris Hospital Foundation and received a phone call from Brigitte Macron to congratulate him.

As a newly minted artist, he naturally anticipates his project “in life and in the virtual” over the next four years, which is the duration of his mission, which he intends to take “arm to body.”

He also collaborates with singing stars such as Angèle, whom he accompanies on the tour of his latest album, “Nonante-Cinq”. Choreographies for Classical Music Triumphs or César 2022, he too.

This beautiful hike, he owes to dancing, but not only. “I’m very curious and passionate. And everything I’ve been through in my career, namely musical comedy, hip-hop, singing, or pedagogy, has built the multidisciplinary artist that I am today.” , explains in detail.

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And now, being in this place, he says he feels “in the right place.”

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