Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

Alt tag Three women in white veils.
© Diana Markosian
Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
75 min

In 2024, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels is supporting the creation and presentation Ihsane by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui.

In Arabic, the word Ihsane represents an ideal of goodness, kindness and benevolence. In Islam, it refers to a form of communion with the universe. With Ihsane, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui continues a diptych begun within his Eastman company with Vlaemsch (chez moi), in 2022. While Vlaemsch was dedicated to his mother and his Flemish roots, Ihsane explores his relationship with his father, who left Morocco for Flanders, emigrating but always retaining – despite leaving – an unconditional love for his home country. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui was still a teenager when his father died. Thirty years later, he searched for him in vain in a Tangier cemetery too full of graves. He continues to search for him through this creation bringing together dancers from the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève and Eastman.

But in Belgium, Ihsane is also associated with a racist and homophobic crime that took place in Liège in 2012: a young homosexual man of 32, of Moroccan origin, beaten to death outside a nightclub. As someone who himself identifies as an artist, a queer and an Arab, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui identifies with and pays tribute to him through this production which revisits his family story. Ihsane is a journey towards the quest for inner peace, and the attempt to transcend conflict, abandonment and forgetting. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui dances the questions that obsess him: what do we have left when our place slips away and fades? How can multiple identities coexist in the same body?

With Ihsane, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui watches the world change in a never-ending cycle of destruction and rebirth. He is wary of cultures when they imprison and separate individuals. He prefers geography in the making, ever-changing landscapes, and the shared space where we coexist. In this space, he reveals the invisible threads that connect us to each other.

About the artist

Portrait of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

In 2024, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels is supporting Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui for the creation and presentation of Ihsane.

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