Underdogs

Trio – Production 2021 – Duration: 50 min – All audiences



In Underdogs, three dancers, one woman and two men, attempt to stick together to explore the symbols and social markers of the urban collective unconscious that unites them. By going through the postures, gestures and energies that suffuse hip-hop dance, they express their personal and emotional bonds to their own dance’s etymology. Against a backdrop of soul music evocative of the political climate in 1970s America, the explosive energy of their bodies anchors in the rebelliousness of popular movements fighting for the underdogs, for the outcasts of our society. Through the gaze of the other and by coming face-to-face with their own inner antagonisms, the three dancers proudly confront the invisible mass of their urban heritage.

Underdogs are those who are expected to lose, never a safe bet. They’re the ones who meld seamlessly with the urban landscape, on whom our gaze settles but never dares to linger.

Urban social dances, amongst which popping, locking and waacking, which are staged in Underdogs, are fueled by everything that challenges the norms, drawing their inspiration from the postures, gestures and energies of characters from the working class and transforming transgression into a creative gesture. Underdogs explores the way in which our bodies are shot through with urban imagery and the traces this leaves behind. It goes back to the roots of hip-hop culture and inscribes it into the political and social context which gave birth to it.

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“In the turbulent mass of peripheral glances, I receive and send out signals with no address. Permeated by the flows of communication between mute bodies, I am lulled by the customary hubbub. A salute, a pointing finger, a stooped shoulder, a head on one side, a determined jaw, an affected gait, an accelerated pace, a waisted silhouette, a hidden glance, a calculated trajectory… A mass of interiorized signs bubble within me. My actions express only a fraction of the collective body language. I celebrate my harmony with the city by jostling my memories of its inhabitants in one single concentrated noisy move. Here is my dance: welcome to my city.”
Urban Dance – Anne Nguyen, Manual of the city warrior


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Choreography: Anne Nguyen
Performers: Sonia Bel Hadj Brahim, Arnaud Duprat, Pascal Luce
Lighting design: Ydir Acef
Music transitions (creation): Sébastien Lété
Stage managers on tour : Matthieu Marques


Partners

Production: par Terre / Anne Nguyen Dance Company Coproduction: L’Auditorium Seynod; Théâtre de Chevilly-Larue.
With the support of Centre d’Art et de Culture de Meudon; Le CENTQUATRE-PARIS; Mairie de La Courneuve – Houdremont centre culturel; Centre culturel l’Imprévu de Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône; CND Centre national de la danse – provision of studio; Établissement public du Palais de la Porte Dorée.


The par Terre / Anne Nguyen Dance Company is funded by
 l’Aide pluriannuelle du Ministère de la Culture / DRAC Ile-de-France, la Région Ile-de-France for “Permanence Artistique et Culturelle” and l’Aide au fonctionnement du Département du Val-de-Marne.
In 2024/2025, the par Terre / Anne Nguyen Dance Company is an associate artist to La Manufacture CDCN Nouvelle-Aquitaine Bordeaux • La Rochelle, as part of the associate artist residency program by the ministry of Culture, and to Théâtre des 2 Rives de Charenton-le-Pont.
In 2024/2025, the par Terre / Anne Nguyen Dance Company is in residency at l’Opéra de Massy.