Acts of the Desert

the Acts of the desert

Dance theatre performance using immersive video, based on the testimonies of people from Mali.

is the aim?

To use the testimonies of Malian people to create an initiatory journey performance.

is involved?

Choreographer and performer Smaïl Kanouté, directed by Bruno Freyssinet.

is it happening?

The performance took place in 2018.

The Aim

It all began with audio clips of people Smail Kanoute met in Mali during two trips in 1999 and 2011. Having graduated from ENSAD, graphic designer, serigraph, visual artist and professional dancer Smaïl Kanouté wrote a show based on these testimonies; an initiatory journey mixing dance, music and video.

Directed by Bruno Freyssinet,  the performance was staged in an immersive space, to draw the audience into the world created.

To the sound of the kora, a traditional instrument, played by Batiste Darsoulant, an old man takes us through the memory of his family tree.

The Acts of the Desert also pays homage to the city of Timbuktu: “a crossroads of exchange, knowledge and study among scholars around the world. A university was born 200 years before the foundation of the Sorbonne and we continue to decipher and preserve these rich manuscripts of knowledge.”

“I see myself alone, sand as far as the eye can see, at sunset, where I decide to make this initiatory journey to find my origins. The sand runs between my fingers and connects me to them. I dance lost beings.”


Choreographer and performer / Smaïl Kanouté

Director / Bruno Freyssinet

Musician / Batiste Darsoulant

Slamor / Afroriginal ™

Writer / Jean Pierre Hamon

Scenographer / Ikse Maître

Light designer / Alexandre Fandard

Light Regulator / Elsa Portas

Stylists / XULY.Bet and JAYONE Ramier

Pictures of Timbuktu / Abdou Diouri

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