Situated at the meeting point of the Maghrebi, Mediterranean and European spaces, Morocco is a bridge, a location of extensive exchanges and overlapping cultural, ethnic or religious groups, in turn colonizer and colonized. Layer after layer, a complex ground has been assembled, serving as a base for a country currently contemplating its diverse heritage: the Arab, the Berber, the European within.
Moroccan dancer and choreographer Radouan Mriziga participates to this reflection in his pieces by observing the way the body perceives and interacts with spaces that are always loaded with values lying beyond the contemporary user or beholder, values that can be revealed and challenged in the frame of a creative expression.
Together, we will visit Marrakesh, one of the most prominent imperial Moroccan cities, and a place where the distant and recent history of the country are especially visible. To discern some of the underlying influences that build up the country’s ethos and cities, and continuously imprint the experience of it, we will visit some of the buildings that make the image of Marrakesh, and investigate more specifically a selection of two spatial types, one traditional and one foreign: the garden and the theater.
Those visits will feed a reflection carried out during on-site workshops in which the students will reflect on those types, to understand, then concentrate them into scenographic elements questioning the evidence of prevailing spatial perceptions, elements to be built and then tested in the space of the unfinished Marrakesh Royal Theater.
Following the seminar-week, 5 to 10 participants will be offered to further engage and continue the design of those elements, to be used in 0.Kanal, Radouan Mriziga’s next piece, which will consist in the appropriation and transformation of a former industrial space by means of architecture and choreography. It will take place in Brussel’s newly opened KANAL – Centre Pompidou, in collaboration with the dance students of The Royal Academy of Antwerp. The participants (who will join in the frame of a Vertiefungsarbeit) will participate to the performances as architects, as engaged bodies crafting the space during the public performances, reflecting, constructing and actively performing the building process of the scenographic elements and what they stand for.
Or how architects can—literally—play a part in a performative reflection embedded in space on the past and present of a country like Morocco.