Nicolas received a grant to participate in Camping project organized by the Centre National de la Danse.

What is your artistic background?
I was born in 1991 in Libreville, Gabon, with a sight impairment of over 80%. Despite these difficulties, I followed my first years of schooling normally and my relatives introduced me to dance and music. When I arrived in France in 2004, in the suburbs of Paris, I was shuffled between different precarious homes and difficult schools before settling with my family in Elbeuf. The discovery of Normandy, from 2007, allowed me to recreate my ties, and I threw myself body and soul into dancing, with the support of my friends. I spent more and more time between Rouen and Paris, where I was introduced to the New Jack Swingue and the New School. I explored popping, got into Hip-Hop, House, Locking. In the break rooms I am a stand-up dancer, my eyes still being too fragile to hold the upside-down positions on the floor. I also trained in event planning: for five years running I co-organized the Battle Versus and the Battle Royale in Elbeuf and Rouen. With the Incidences Company, I performed at the Zenith during the France 3 TV show. In 2011 I was spotted during an audition for the musical Robin Hood. The organizers convinced me to enroll in the AID, the International Academy of Dance of Paris directed by Nicole Chirpaz. I received two years of training, during which I studied dance, singing and acting. I then joined the Lax Studio, as an administrative trainee, and the association 93 Arts Communique / Cie Elolonguè, as a speaker. I met Lydia Laouichi there. In 2017 she invited me to join her new association HIKMART (Help Improve Kids Mind by Art), in which I remain involved today as a dance coach. In 2018 I was chosen by the video artist Laure Prouvost for her project for the French Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. After having been one of the main actors in the short film Deep See Blue Surrounding You, I performed in the Pavilion during the whole Biennale. I am currently preparing a diploma as a cultural facilitator with the National Hip-Hop Organization (ON2H) at the Centre de Formation Danse de Cergy. I am also a teacher and dance coach for young people for several associations. I continue to perform as part of Laure Prouvost's installation, notably at the Abattoirs de Toulouse. I am currently a resident at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, where I develop projects and start new collaborations with contemporary artists.

How do you see your profession today?
Culture is a part of us. Using it wisely will make people happy. Dance is my base; making observations that lead me to evolve and working with different personalities supports me in my idea of learning and allows me to forge an ideology that is called ''[email protected]''. I would like to break down the barriers between disciplines (dance, visual arts, singing, photography, fashion...) as well as social barriers, to allow a real access to culture for all.

How do you see yourself in five years? in 10 years?
On the highest peak that art has ever known.

This interview was conducted in 2021
Photography credit: Julia Grandperret