Press – Kata

“An improbable, highly acrobatic encounter between some highly creative hip-hop and the ultra-codified kata of the martial arts scene, in a performance choreographed by an ardent follower of both genres, Anne Nguyen. Out on stage, eight performers are buoyed aloft by a balletic dance informed by seemingly ritual-like, powerful, controlled, compelling gestures and surprisingly sensual combative moves in a spectacle that is as technically impressive as it is over-flowing with energy.”

Vogue (October 2017)

“There is no gratuitous violence in these confrontations. Against an obsessive percussive backdrop provided by Sébastien Lété, these face-to-face encounters are not so much a hand-to-hand combat tactic as a bizarre duet, given ample ballast by the dancers’ expressive gestures. The performers’ collective moves trace out on the stage a series of tremendously stylized, poetical diagonals. Feet glide effortlessly across the floor, arms are outstretched in the gesture of an archer poised with invisible bow, the eight dancers build a landscape of resistance. Virtuosos without being overly demonstrative, their gestural vocabulary is based on cleverly dissected breakdance moves that ultimately define a framework of kata sequences. Their simple presence exudes a force, a highly thoughtful, accomplished driving rhythm to mirror the choreography.”
Danser Canal Historique – Isabelle Calabre (16 October 2017)

“[…] Kata is a piece in which seven male dancers and one female dancer create an atmosphere of permanent suspense with a fusion of breakdance and martial arts. Their urban dance sets off in search of a unique society, filled with an unfathomable richness of gestural invention. Kata is an hour-long piece of near-exploding tension, in which the hip-hop is feline and incisive, while being evocative of war, battle and hunt situations. In Kata, the fusion between the two is at once poetry and perfection. Anne Nguyen takes “useful” movements and renders them “useless”. The results are extraordinarily rich. All the dancers appropriate the gestures from martial arts and reinvent them freely, each in their own way. Hands fuse together, gestures are broken. They may touch before moving into combat. But this is merely the preliminary stage, where bodies and minds are preparing to make contact. Thus, the idea of the battle is never far away. And the suspense is tangible. Anne Nguyen and her dancers are thus embarked on a quest to discover a wealth of seemingly inexhaustible variations. Kata shows that there can be all kinds of surprises in hip-hop. Especially the best kinds.”

Artistik Rezo – Thomas Hahn (16 October 2017)

“Eight technically flawless performers are engaged in this quest for the hip-hop gesture in the light of these reinvented codes. With a touch of humour, they embody this obsession with a “dance of the city warriors”, as the choreographer so poetically formulates it in her work.”

La Terrasse – Nathalie Yokel (25 May 2017)

Kata thus unites martial arts and dance in a kid-glove duel. Nguyen is recognised for her intelligence of gesture, the involvement of the dancers on stage.”

Paris Capital – Philippe Noisette (October 2017)

The true value of breakdance.
Kata is a work of mesmerising beauty with an interplay of forms and shadows amplified by clever lighting effects, combined with the control, commitment and rich, virtuoso vocabulary of the dancers. […] a pure dance piece that allows the onlookers to invent their own story, enter into the performers’ trance, and absorb the ritual-like energy they exude.”

Critiphotodanse – Jean-Marie Gourreau (16 October 2017)

“A powerful, visceral, implacable piece of choreography, mid-way between martial arts and breakdance.” (October 2017)

“The pathways and patterns traced in Kata demonstrate Anne Nguyen’s choreographic determination to introduce the gestural vocabulary of breakdance, capoeira and the martial arts into a contemporary framework. […] Ydir Acef’s shifting lighting effects and Sébastien Lété’s percussive score create a changing climate in which the performance is no longer an end, but a means.”

ResMusica – Delphine Goater (17 October 2017)

“The Théâtre national de Chaillot presents Kata by Anne Nguyen, a spectacle combining dance and battle that sets out to turn breakdance and floorworks into a contemporary martial art.”

Paris Art (October 2017)

“Anne Nguyen relies on the talents of eight breakdancers to shake up the codes of acrobatic hip-hop floorworks. She depicts a fresco of war wherein the figures appear to be a group of fighters.”

Télérama Sortir – Nadia Vadori-Gauthier (from 11 to 17 October 2017)

“In her new foray into hip-hop territory, Anne Nguyen, ever attentive to symbols and meanings, has left nothing to chance. The sequences of movements, inspired by the kata in martial arts, appear to contain hidden tenets. In a reaction against an oppressive contemporary world, the dancers emerge as the last ambassadors of a seemingly absurd code of honour, reconnecting with the organic instincts of body power.”

L’Officiel des spectacles (October 2017)