Seine-Saint-Denis launches its Cultural Olympiad

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Rehearsal of the “We are not going to parade” parade, Sunday May 26 in Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine (Seine-Saint-Denis). DAN AUCANTE/CITY OF SAINT-OUEN-SUR-SEINE

Suddenly, the troop stands up and raises their arms. The storm has barely ended when the procession sets off to the sound of Stromae’s song Then we dance. A small crowd formed around it and, on the playground next door, children and parents froze. Dressed all in black, with a colorful scarf stuck in their pants pocket, a hundred young people between 15 and 30 begin their ballet.

This Sunday, May 26, in the Grand Parc of Saint-Ouen, choreographer Leïla Ka supervises the dress rehearsal of the Audonian segment of the dance parade “On ne va pas se parade”, organized as part of the Seine-Seine Cultural Olympiad. Saint-Denis, on the occasion of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Tall, small, round and thin people of all origins, sway in a mix of contemporary dance movements, mambo steps and hip-hop, supervised by dancers from the company in residence at Espace 1789 , cultural place of Saint-Ouen. The gestures are precise, in a beautiful overall movement that is complemented by the scarves suddenly brandished.

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This part will be added on June 23 to the entire parade of one thousand five hundred young people, which will cross the territory, from Aubervilliers to Pantin, and which will constitute the flagship initiative of the Cultural Olympiad financed by the department to the tune of 2.4 million euros out of a total of almost 6 million.

“It attracted young people that we have never seen in our theaters”

Each part of the parade was designed and worked on by the eight cultural organizations of Seine-Saint-Denis: the national drama centers of Aubervilliers, Montreuil, and Saint-Denis, the approved stages of Tremblay-en-France, La Courneuve and Saint-Ouen, the National Dance Center of Pantin and the MC93, the Maison de la culture de Bobigny.

This is the first time that these eight structures, united within the La Beauté du geste collective, have worked together on a project. They are each in charge of a segment of the parade staged with a guest artist (choreographer, circus performer, musician or actor) around a desire: to show another face of young people from disadvantaged suburbs, by revealing the richness of their creation contemporary, on the occasion of cultural events linked to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“It’s a strong project that will show the world an image different from that of Paris. Without the Olympics, we would never have been able to hold an event of this magnitude in the public space”rejoices Hortense Archambault, director of MC93 and project coordinator.

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