Stage Door News
Toronto: Harbourfront presents the Canadian premiere of “Näss” by Fouad Boussouf October 26-28
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Torque, Harbourfront Centre’s esteemed international contemporary dance series, celebrates the launch of its fifth season with an electrifying line-up of international and Canadian choreographers. The 2023/24 season opens with the spellbinding Canadian premiere of Näss by renowned Moroccan-born choreographer Fouad Boussouf, on stage October 26–28, 2023 at 7:30pm at Fleck Dance Theatre.
Fouad Boussouf is lauded as one of the most inventive choreographers in contemporary dance. He takes inspiration from a myriad of dance forms, while also drawing on musical influences from his native Morocco and the Arab world – channeling a signature dance language that includes spontaneous movement and a propulsive non-stop motion.
Näss, inspired by the famous 1970s anti-establishment Maghreb Moroccan group Nass el Ghiwane, a band renowned in Africa for merging traditional Moroccan music with lyrics steeped in political and social injustices, marries intense physical choreography with a fusion of urban hip-hop, electronica and contemporary North African dance, transporting audiences onto the streets of Marrakech. Performed by a cast of seven striking male dancers, Näss transfixes with its hypnotic and ritualistic rhythms, intense athleticism and acrobatic feats danced to a powerful score led by Roman Bestion, Marion Castor and Boussouf.
“We are thrilled to open our 2023/24 Torque season with Harbourfront Centre’s debut of Fouad Boussouf’s Näss,” says Nathalie Bonjour, Director, Performing Arts at Harbourfront Centre. “Performed with extraordinary musicality and intense physicality, it offers an exhilarating view into the complexities of human kinship, community and solitude.”
Hailed as “hypnotic … like the sound of a heartbeat” by The New York Times, Näss connects cross-continent threads of ancient and post-modern times with hip-hop and breakdance – dance forms imbued with a spiritual and ritualistic quality, both of which are anchored in traditional Northern African roots just as much as in American culture. Since its world premiere in 2018 at the Pôle Culturel d’Alfortville, France, Näss has toured globally from Bulgaria to Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway, the United States, Morocco and Hong Kong.
Harbourfront Centre’s Torque 2023/24 season presents works embodying the tensions and power of relationships: the ones with each other, history and territory. Following Näss is the Toronto premiere of Stations, an intoxicating solo from the legendary Louise Lecavalier of Quebec’s Fou Glorieux, on November 23–25, 2023; the world premiere of Deciphers, an arresting work centred on the immigrant experience, co-presented with DanceWorks, from co-performers and choreographers Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu, on February 8–10, 2024; the Toronto premiere of Vástádus eana – The Answer is Land, a potent mix of traditional yoik and contemporary dance, highlighting the Sámi people’s connection to homeland from Sámi choreographer Elle Sofe Sara, on March 6–7, 2024 and the Canadian premiere of Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart’s Swan Lakes, a showcase of four distinctly different interpretations of the seminal masterpiece from four of the world’s best choreographers – Cayetano Soto, Marie Chouinard, Marco Goecke and Hofesh Shechter – on April 18–20, 2024.
Fouad Boussouf will host a masterclass on October 28. To purchase tickets and for information about Fouad Boussouf’s Näss, his masterclass and the complete Torque 2023/24 season, please visit harbourfrontcentre.com.
Photo: A scene from Näss. © 2022 Andrea Mohin.