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OPIUM a journey from 2014 to 2016

OPIUM ©Soraya Hocine

OPIUM ... Exhibition, performance, concert, play ...

« "The people" as a unity, identity, totality or generality, this simply does not exist ... because there are finally only coexistent peoples. » George Didi-Huberman - What is a People ?

Fundamental and devoid of meaning, this people has imposed itself on us as a vain unity but that is always sought after.

We are choreographers, and for this project we have gathered a team with different practices, because the subject requires it. Opium is thought of as a geography of the desert (see Hannah Arendt "The Promise of Politics") and this desert is not sterile, it produces forms, words.

So we have chosen accumulation* as a figure of speech.


This sensation is the driving force of OPIUM.

Associated with the Théâtre de Nîmes for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 seasons, we were able to articulate this project in different stages.


* Accumulation : Materials of the same nature, of the same type that are juxtaposed without any other link. Accumulation reflects an impression of disorder, chaos, profusion (it allows neither progression nor construction of meaning).


A photographic and journalistic approach

First step with the reporter Julien Cernobori and the photographers Anya Tikhomirova and Soraya Hocine around the notions Oasis and Desert borrowed from Hannah Arendt :


«(..) The increasing loss of the world, the disappearance of the in between. This is the extension of the desert, and the desert is the world under which conditions we move (...). The danger is that we become true desert dwellers and feel at home there. »

Hannah Arendt - The Promise of Politics

The challenge was to gather an alphabet of materials (interviews and photos), a snapshot of these worlds, always halfway between aridity and strange remission.

We went to meet different worlds and different bodies : The Lumière et Vie Family Pension (Nîmes), Quartier Libre (Nîmes), the Collège Condorcet (Nîmes), the French Bullfighting Center (Nîmes), the Foreign Legion ( Aubagne), the François Tosquelles Hospital Center (Saint Alban sur Limagnole), but also the highlands of Lozère, Paris, Rouen, etc.


(in French)

Les Bernhard

Julien le Torrero





Essays, temporary writings, exhibitions

It is from these interviews and these visuals that the writing has developed and been transposed.
Essays, temporary writings create intuitive links between these different materials and different contexts.



September 30, 2014 / Traits d’Union#3 - Centre Hospitalier François Tosquelles, Saint-Alban - Performance

April 20 to 25, 2015 / L'Odéon, Théâtre de Nîmes - Performance April 23

May 4 to 13, 2015 / L'Odéon, Théâtre de Nîmes - Research and performance

May 4 to 29, 2015 / Galerie LE ZO, Nîmes / Carte blanche à La Zampa - Performances May 5, 12 and 28 

June 12 to 19, 2015 / Centre Hospitalier François Tosquelles, Saint-Alban - Performance June 19

March 11 to April 1st, 2016 / Le Lac Gelé, lieu de phénomènes photographiques, Nîmes. Performance during the opening of the  exhibition OPIUM, « chacun de nous est un désert... » of Soraya Hocine, Anya Tikomirova and with the audio works of Julien Cernobori

June 23 to 27, 2016 / Studio Le Petit Oiseau va sortir, Paris 11° / Exhibition OPIUM, "chacun de nous est un désert…" Of Soraya Hocine, with the audio works Julien Cernobori

December 2 to january 14, 2017 / Galerie Annie Gabrielli, Montpellier / Exhibition OPIUM, "chacun de nous est un désert…" Of Soraya Hocine

May 4 to may 31, 2017 / Galerie Lumière D’encre, Céret / Exhibition OPIUM, « chacun de nous est un désert… » Of Soraya Hocine

The piece

Think of the group as a fragment, a fraction, an accumulation.

We wanted the construction of this piece as a mobile. Each element of a mobile seems dissociated. The whole is articulated and only appears when these elements meet before our eyes.

A dance, a song, a story, elements that remain dissociated like an accumulation* of behaviors, all held by this strange consciousness between joyful casualness and legitimate violence.

The importance of music

Music plays an important role in our approach. In Opium, it allows to put into perspective two sides of the same coin : Nina Simone's songs revisited in a corrosive and powerful way find their rightful place in front of the banality of the worst as uttered by Hannah Arendt.

An echo chamber always expanding.

It alternately projects figures that, between threat and resignation, look for their paradigm.

An imperfect equilibrium is at work. OPIUM is an endless walk, a cloudy and constant smoke. It operates and carries with it our bodies and our thoughts.

This title, OPIUM, is used in order to suggest a sensation.

We thought of a curve, that of the opiate, between drunkenness and downfall, similar to the way our societies function.

A proposal of Magali Milian and Romuald Luydlin


With the collaboration of Laurent Benard, Benjamin Chaval, Sophie Lequenne, Valérie Leroux,Romuald Luydlin, Corine Milian, Magali Milian, Manusound, Lucie Patarozzi, Denis Rateau, Marc Sens, Anna Vanneau


Collaboration, preparatory phase
Julien Cernobori journalist
Soraya Hocine and Anya Tikhomirova photographers
Corine Milian vocals
Marc Sens guitarist

Production La Zampa
Co-production Théâtre de Nîmes scène conventionnée pour la danse contemporaine, CDC Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées, Scènes Croisées Scène conventionnée de Lozère, Théâtre de L’Archipel Scène nationale de Perpignan, CCNO Orléans Josef Nadj and ICI-CCN Montpellier Occitanie/Pyrénées Méditerranée Direction Christian Rizzo dans le cadre de l’Accueil-studio.
Workshops Le Toboggan-Décines, Fabrik-Potsdam, Collège Condorcet-Nîmes, Le ZO-Nîmes, Centre hospitalier François Tosquelles-Saint Alban, L’Odéon-Théâtre de Nîmes.
With the support of Adami, société des artistes-interprètes and Institut Français (Bureau du Théâtre et de la Danse - Berlin).

La Zampa is supported by Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée (Aide aux compagnies conventionnées), Région Occitanie/Pyrénées-Méditerranée and Département du Gard.


// July 6-26, 2017

La Manufacture Edition 2017, Avignon

// June 13, 2017

Festival June Events, CDC Atelier de Paris-Carolyn Carlson, Le CENTQUATRE-Paris


// February 8, 2017

Les Sept Collines, Scène Conventionnée de Tulle


// January 24, 2017

Festival International Danse Contemporaine CDC Toulouse / L’Escale, Tournefeuille


// October 14, 2016

Théâtre de l’Archipel, Scène Nationale de Perpignan


// June 23-27, 2016

Studio Le Petit Oiseau va sortir, Paris 11° / OPIUM exhibition, "chacun de nous est un désert…" By Soraya Hocine, with the sound works of Julien Cernobori


// March 11-31, 2016

Le Lac Gelé, Nîmes / Opening and performance March 11 - 18:30 / OPIUM exhibition, "chacun de nous est un désert…" By Soraya Hocine and Anya Tikhomirova, with the sound works of Julien Cernobori 


// March 8 & 9, 2016

L’Odéon - Théâtre de Nîmes / PREMIERE


// June 18-19,  2015

Chapelle de l’Hôpital - St Alban-sur-Limagnole (48) / OPIUM performance

// May 19-30, 2015

Le ZO, Nîmes / OPIUM exhibition

// May 12, 2015

Le ZO, Nîmes / OPIUM performance


// April 23, 2015

L’Odéon - Théâtre de Nîmes / OPIUM performance

// September 30, 2014

Chapelle de l’Hôpital - St Alban-sur-Limagnole (48) / OPIUM performance

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