Soria Rem et Mehdi Ouachek

Choreographers of Art Move Concept company
Soria Rem and Mehdi Ouachek, originally from Seine et Marne region in France, met for the first time in 2002, marking the beginning of a great artistic adventure for the couple.
After working together for two years, Soria and Mehdi made a name for themselves in 2012 on the French TV show La Meilleure Danse on channel M6. They presented an innovative vision of dance they called Abstract, mixing their hip-hop technique with a contemporary fluidity and great sensitivity through movement. Their unique style won the acclaim of people working in the profession and the general public. Marie Agnès Gillot, Redha and Franco Dragone recognised their one-of-a-kind talent and their innovative, original dance technique.  Soria and Mehdi started touring as a duo for the first time as well as giving conferences and holding workshops. At the end of the year, the couple decided to set up the company Art Move Concept.
In 2013, Soria and Mehdi surrounded themselves with a team of six dancers and their first large-scale production – Nibiru – was born. The work traces the shift in human behaviour and the way we are predestined to evolve spiritually. It met with immediate success: with 1.7 million views on social networks in just a few days, the show then went on tour in France and abroad. The company performed at major dance festivals: La Merce in Barcelona, Summer Dance in Amsterdam, Kalypso in Paris and Jacob’s Pillow Dance in USA. Soria and Mehdi took part in multiple choreographic productions, disseminating their image and vision of a multi-disciplinary art of movement. Françoise Letellier, director of the Scène Nationale des Gémeaux in Sceaux at the time, invited the couple to become guest artists in residence at the theatre in 2016. This residency and collaboration gave birth to Exit in 2017, a show that marked a watershed in the troupe’s use of choreographic language. Inspired by the great names of silent cinema – such as Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin – the piece finds a creative balance between mime, clown and dance.
In 2018, building on their earlier successes, Soria and Mehdi threw themselves into a new large-scale production, Fli, at the Les Gémeaux theatre in partnership with the Plus Petit Cirque du Monde in Bagneux. Driven by the desire to draw closer to the world of circus, the couple devised an off-the-wall, dreamlike show where the art of mime and new clown reflected the troupe’s determination to refine their Abstract language and discover new horizons, reinventing not just the technique but also the staging. Fli – created for seven dancers – was designed in several formats (including the 360-degree circus format).

At the same time, Soria and Mehdi put forward a proposal for Sowe, a show for two female dancers that traces the life of two diametrically-opposed women following a common path on their artistic journey. We are immersed in an entirely feminine vision of the world of dance, highlighting not just the role of women in the field of choreography but above all the trajectory of their body in all its states.
  In 2020, the company was still producing its three major productions and their activities continued to expand. Mourad Merzouki, director of Créteil CCN and Pole Pik, and artistic director of the Kalypso and Karavel festivals, showed his willingness to give Soria and Mehdi top billing by offering them a partnership: for the first time, the two festivals would be represented by one and the same troupe… and the couple were given carte blanche for this special event. To celebrate the occasion, Art Move Concept decided to deliver a new production for nine dancers exclusively for the festival: a blend of hip-hop, classical and contemporary dance and circus arts. The result was Anopas, which – due to the health measures in force in November 2020 – was performed live on the internet from the large Gémeaux set in Sceaux.

Over the years, Soria and Mehdi have succeeded in establishing a form of dance that is their own, constantly changing and surprising the audience with their ingenuity in staging movement. Breaking the codes and the boundaries of hip-hop, and blending circus arts with mime and contemporary dance, their unique style of choreographic design is based on the pursuit of fluidity of movement, musicality of the body, and the emotion that emerges from them. Because “Abstract dance” isn’t just a style of dance; it entails an exposure of the self, beyond the physical performance that it requires.

Françoise Letellier

President of the company
Françoise Letellier was director of Gémeaux, Scène Nationale de Sceaux from 1985 to 2021. She has worked for 35 years promoting the theatre in the cultural landscape of Ile-de-France. Françoise was appointed Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres – Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters – in 2013, before being awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 2016. As a follower of Soria and Mehdi’s work from the outset, Françoise became president of Art Move Concept in 2021.