Mohamed received a grant to participate in the Camping project organized by the Centre National de la Danse.
What is your artistic background ?
I started dancing in 2001, with the idea of staying on my home island, Mayotte. From 2001 to 2005, I hadn't yet met any dancers from beyond my homeland. I learned all the movements by watching DVDs and then I tried to reproduce them by finding an adapted technique. In 2005, I met Mahorais dancers (inhabitants of Mayotte) from the association Hip Hop Évolution. It was a very interesting experience because they helped me to understand that dancing requires preparation. In 2009, I had my first meeting with a professional company, E.GO from Niort, which enabled me to train and work on gestures and my stage presence. Between 2013-2014 I created the show Malaïka, for which I reappropriated traditional East African dances but infused with hip hop. This first experience allowed me to put in place what I had learned with the E.GO company. During the same period, I also did another show, Catch Me, translated into the local language MSIKANO, which toured Mayotte and Réunion. This experience enabled me to discover the backstage of a tour and the professionalism that a dancer must have. Between 2015-2016 I worked on the piece Walé, which relates my journey as an immigrant in another country. This show allowed me to set up my first scenography. I was lucky enough to be accompanied, for the choreographies, by Elena Bertuzzi, who was able to pass on her experience as a dancer. Between 2017-2019 I worked on the new piece Nazrongoloué, which tries to say what should not be said, in a burlesque style and in outendé (Comorian oratory style). In parallel, I was able to stage Mtroumché, in partnership with a traditional dance association which is 100% comprised of women. It's a real success because, for many, it's a new vision of traditional dance.
How do you see your profession today ?
I have learned a lot and I continue to learn in order to have the greatest possible skills to better express my positions and proposals.
How do you see yourself in five years ? In 10 years ?
I would like to continue learning, to try out other styles. I let myself be guided by the desire to practice artistic expression in order to assert my ideological, political and moral positions and to try to put the human being front and center. The objective for the years to come is to learn to use the different means of expression (theatre, photo/video, poetry, visual arts...) to have even more possibilities of expression in order to bring something that could be called "new", when in the end it's just a mixture.
This interview was conducted in 2019
Photo credit: Amandine Besacier