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Nelisiwe Xaba and Kettly Noel in Correspondences. Photo by Eric Boudet.^495

Voices of Strength: A Mini-festival of Contemporary Dance & Theater by Women from Africa

Madame Plaza
Bouchra Ouizguen (Morocco)

Whatever the country, whatever the circumstance, the complex mixture of longing, regrets, hopes and frustrations played out on stage speaks to an understanding of friendship and female solidarity which will be immediately recognizable to everyone.
-Deutsche Welle, Germany

Madame Plaza, created by Moroccan choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen and performed with three traditional "Aïta" vocalists whose custom includes guttural wailing and incantation, is a powerful merging of bodies with song. In Morocco, the Aïta are paradoxically the object of admiration, fantasy, and also contemptuous rejection. Their artistry is often classified as folklore, but their presence is immediately and profoundly contemporary. With touching directness and surprising humor, Madame Plaza brings forth an essential freedom of the body.

Voices of Strength: Madame Plaza (excerpt) from MAPP International on Vimeo.

Bouchra Ouizguen
Born in Ouarzazate, Morocco, and educated in France, Bouchra Ouizguen was a soloist in oriental dance in Morocco from 1995 to 2000. From 1998 to 2001, she studied and performed in Marrakech and in France, with Bernado Montet, Mathilde Monnier, and Boris Charmatz. In 2002, with Taoufiq Izeddiou and Saïd Ait El Moumen, Ms. Ouizguen founded ANANIA, a contemporary dance company in Marrakech that created the dance festival "On Marche." She also collaborated that year in forming the Al Mokhtabar contemporary dance company. Ms. Ouizguen's choreographic works include: AnaOunta (2002); Fina ken'ti (2002); Mort et moi (2005); Déserts, desires with Taoufiq Izeddiou (2006); Aïta with Naïma Sahmoud (2007); and Madame Plaza (2008-2009). They have been presented throughout Morocco and in France, including the prestigious Montpellier Dance Festival. Madame Plaza was presented as part of the 2010 FIAF Crossing the Line Festival in NYC. Since 2007, Ms. Ouizguen has been a co-organizer of the annual festival Recontres Choreographiques of Marrakech.