"Dance is my liberation"
With Brahim Bouchelaghem, it's about more than dance, it's about life. His virtuoso mastery of Hip Hop gives him the freedom to bear his soul. As a teenager, he looked on the National Choreographic Centre as an inaccessible place. Twenty years later it has welcomed him as its guest company following a meeting with Carolyn Carlson who describes him as a "poet".
Discovered through the programme HIP HOP on TF1 and learned on the street, dance quickly became an exceptional opening towards new horizons for this young man from Roubaix. He took part in dance championships, travelled and met great figures like Africa Bambaataa and Storm.
Spotted by Farid Berki of the company Melting Spot, he was introduced to performing and the world of theatre, playing the leading role in five original works. This training marked a turning point in his career from an artistic point of view.
His stints performing with a variety of companies have brought him something new each time. Taking part in the piece Récital by the company Käfig allowed him to perfect, among others, the technique of strobing. With Accrorap, he shared the sensitive and committed approach of choreographer Kader Attou, with whom he has just collaborated as a performer in his latest choreography, Petites histoires.com. Meanwhile, the company Franck II Louise helped him develop his musical sense. He is currently performing in their piece Drop it.
All these influences gradually motivated Bouchelaghem to embark on his own projects too - ones based on his personal emotional experiences - as did his innate need to express himself on the reality that surrounds him and deeply moves him. Käfig and Accrorap's Franco-Algerian project Mekech Mouchkin took him to the country of his roots and inspired his first solo, Zahrbat, a poignantly powerful tribute to his late father. While in Algeria, he found his father's grave in Lesser Kabylia and this experience helped him reconnect with his family history. El Firak, his second original piece which premiered at the National Choreographic Centre Roubaix Nord-Pas de Calais on 31 May 2008, was inspired by dialogues with young Palestinian dancers on another trip with the company Accrorap, this time to Ramallah.
An exceptional choreographer and performer on both an artistic and a human level, Brahim Bouchelaghem formed his own company, Zahrbat, in Roubaix in November 2007. It has been selected by Carolyn Carlson to receive active support from the National Choreographic Centre Roubaix Nord-Pas de Calais in terms of production, touring, communication and devising choreographies.
His own individual style of choreography shares an intimate perception of the world with the audience.