Alexandre Roccoli's work travels to Cairo with the support of the Institut français

My choreographic writing questions the dialogue between the organicity of movement and its automation, between letting go and the conditioning of gesture.

For two decades, choreographer Alexandre Roccoli has been interested in the healing powers of dance. His show Long Play (LP), first created with the dancers of the Marseille Ballet, will soon be performed in Cairo with the support of the Institut français. 

Updated on 12/10/2022

5 min

From 1999 to 2003, Alexandre Roccoli was a member of the Théâtre du Soleil alongside Ariane Mnouchkine. It was during a tour by the company in Asia that he met Ohno Kazuo, who trained him in Butoh dance, before discovering other traditions such as Low Country in Sri Lanka. From 2004 onwards, his research into the techno scene in Germany led him to create a first solo, Ersatz, before initiating collaborations with several important figures from the electronic scene such as Ellen Allien, Pantha du Prince, Jeff Mills and DJ Chloé. During the following decade, he worked mainly with artists from the Mediterranean region, in search of the sounds and choreographic traditions that are rooted there. This resulted in many acclaimed creations such as Empty Picture (2013), Longing (2014) and Weaver Raver (2015). 

Through numerous collaborations with anthropologists, Alexandre Roccoli strives to decompartmentalise disciplines and to draw material from the heart of rituals and legends which he then brings to contemporary stages. He is particularly active in southern Italy, where he is interested in the tradition of tarantism, a cathartic choreographic form. Since 2017, he has been associated with the Naples Festival, where he teaches dance at the Suor Orsola Benincasa University. Particularly attentive to the healing powers of dance, he often stages performances that are performed as close to the audience as possible. From Kabyle weavers to Italian peasant women and the miners, Alexandre Roccoli draws on individual and collective stories before bringing them to the stage. 

Since the creation of After Hours at the famous Berghain club in Berlin in 2006, Alexandre Roccoli has always anchored his practice in an international landscape. At the invitation of Le Centquatre and Actoral Marseille, Alexandre Roccoli created the show Long Play (LP) in 2021 with the dancers of the Marseille ballet directed by (LA) Horde, with a score by the Egyptian musician Adam Shalan. In this critically acclaimed performance, which draws on Sufi rituals, a mass of bodies gradually tries to detach itself from itself without hurting its own members. Carried by a syncopated and hypnotic techno composition, Long Play (LP) addresses the question of the collective body and its mental pulsations. After a long tour in 2021 and 2022, Long Play (LP) will be performed by Egyptian dancers in Cairo in October 2022. 

  • 1999


    Alexandre Roccoli joins the Théâtre du Soleil.

  • 2005


    Ersatz, his first solo.

  • 2006


    After Hours, created at Berghain in Berlin.

  • 2017


    Weaver Quintet, a show dealing with the question of the memory of working-class gestures and the rural world.

  • 2022


    Performance of Long Play (LP) in Cairo, created the previous year at Le Centquatre.

L'institut français, LAB