Compagnie KLP

When I started in hip-hop, I never could have imagined that I would be performing onstage. We are a contemporary dance company, but we are also a crew, a team ready to take on challenges in hip-hop competitions, as we recently did in Barcelona. That is what makes us unique. The idea is to make our dance understandable. We are not performing a play; we want, by our show of emotion, to bring the viewer into our world.
Brice Bernier, Artistic Director, Compagnie KLP

The Artists

It was in Nantes, in Yasmin Rahmani's dance school HB2 that Brice Bernier started to practice hip-hop dance when he still was a teenager. Soon, along with six friends who had met at HB2 and who were eager to share their culture with a wider audience, he decided to join the organization C'WEST to start training and classes for hip-hop dance. In a logical chain of events, they decided to establish Compagnie KLP (Kebrea Lock Pop) in 2003 to make the richness and complexity of their dance clearer by focusing on choreography. After their first group effort, Le sous sol earned them the Prix de la Ville de Fontainebleau in 2004's 11th Contest for Contemporary Choreography at the Festival Les Synodales, the group created Sissa in 2006. It is a choreographic performance with refined but daring collective writing which established energetic dance marked by poetry and style. In 2006 Sissa earned the group the Prix Beaumarchais/SACD for supporting young authors at the Festival H2O in Aulnay-sous-Bois.

That same year, along with the creation of Sissa, Brice accepted an offer from Hervé Maigret, a choreographer for the contemporary company ngc25, to participate in the show Les Offices du Corps. This rich, artistic experience exposed him to another approach to movement and choreographic creation. Beyond his involvement with the company, he has also participated regularly in numerous hip-hop events at the national and international level.

In 2007, as KLP calmly took its place in the choreographic world, Brice became artistic director for the company. He began to wear the hat of choreography and dancer, and with the merging of these worlds, he immediately found himself faced with the paradox of the institutionalization of hip-hop dance.

Through its creations, Compagnie KLP shares its views on the world and dance and attempts to open multiple possibilities for hip-hop culture: that of a battle, where dance is a game of confrontation, of challenge, but also a showcase that is more seductive and where bodily expression is more refined.

Brice Bernier continues to work with KLP, developing multiple projects. He also received a commission from the Conseil Général 44 to create a two-person piece, which became J'habite ici, performed at the TransEnDanse festival in November 2007. Brice pursues his dancing career in Compagnie ngc25.

Compagnie KLP would like to continue to be exposed to hip-hop dance in all its forms of expression. In that regard, this tour should be an opportunity for the troupe to meet American hip-hop dance ensembles. They have already had a particularly fruitful period in residence with a hip-hop group based in Seattle.

The Program

1st Act: J’habite ici  (Duo, 30 minutes)
Featuring: Brice Bernier and Nabil El Khayer

Concept: A photo-like representation of that instant that shakes us from tranquil monotony to an existential consciousness, this piece is inspired by a reading of the poem J'habite ici by Jean-Claude Pinson, academic, poet, and poetry theorist.

In the space of a danced act, let us dive into the spirit of an old man who, surprised by dreams and memories, has seen his usual tranquility shattered into pieces.

By touching on senility, forgetting, awareness, lucidity, and fragility, Brice Bernier's choreographic research attempts to trace out the path which will allow him to explore the theme of renewal and reconstruction.


Second act: Sissa (40 minutes)

Featuring: Brice Bernier, Yanis Blanchard, Karim Bouheudjeur, Nabil El Khayer, Hocine Jouini, Jérôme Monar.

This choreographed performance demonstrates a refined but daring collective writing which established energetic dance marked by poetry and style. In 2006, Sissa earned the group the Prix Beaumarchais.

Adapted from an Oriental tale, Sissa is based on the warning from the Brahman Sissa to King Sheran. His message, from a traditional parable, tells the story of the birth of chess. The main piece, the king, cannot advance without the support of the other pieces. As such, the monarch should not forget his subjects but rather should govern them with temperance…Sissa is a reflection on strategy, duels, and power. It outlines spaces reserved for players and the secret ties that bind a group, a team, a society. It examines the constant dualities with which we are confronted and the numerous strategies we use to face them.

There they are, face to face, alternating their plays against one another. The game becomes real; the chessboard has come to life and vibrates to the point of uproar! The scene soon becomes a performance. Quickly, a peaceful situation becomes tense. The drama pulls us in, plays out, and reaches its denouement…in a space that is deformed and contorted at the whim of the unyielding progression of time.

The show could be followed by a discussion with the audience. The troupe is also offering hip-hop dance workshops (more information is available upon request).

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