Feb. 12 Artswego performance to feature ‘mesmerizing’ dance troupe


January 28, 2020

The energetic and expert dancing of Cie Hervé Koubi will continue the season for SUNY Oswego’s Artswego series with a production of “What the Day Owes to the Night” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12 in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

Choreographer Koubi developed the piece working with street dancers from Algeria and Burkina Faso as part of a very personal project of discovering his own history. 

The piece that resulted was an attempt “to give life to my dreams as a child born in France who discovered belatedly his true origins and those of his parents, Algerians from birth,” Koubi explained.

As Koubi set out to investigate his Algerian heritage, he found himself creating “a mixing up of time and a story of links” which provided the landscape for this piece, the choreographer said. Explosive yet lyrical, it is a metaphor for the complex ties that link all of humanity. 

Performers from France, Italy, Morocco, Algeria, Israel -- mostly with backgrounds in street dance and hip-hop -- bring Koubi’s vision to life in compelling visual fashion.

The dancers “move throughout ‘What the Day Owes to the Night' in ways that suggest the slowly shifting contours of sand dunes or the sudden spins of desert whirlwinds,” reviewer Alastair Macaulay wrote in The New York Times. “The juxtaposition of contrasting speeds and shapes is mesmerizing. And the virtuosity of those rotations -- the men turn, upside down, on either both hands or one, so unexpectedly and so fast that you can’t quite see what they’re doing or how -- is a touch of theatrical magic." 

From the opening moments, audiences are swept up into a unique world, a language of kinetic power and beauty. Koubi drew inspiration throughout his choreographic ventures by works of literature, music and art. Inspired by the young hero in Yasmina Khadra’s novel of the same name -- an ordinary boy shuffled from one family to the next -- Koubi ventures into his own history, which ultimately conveys a larger cultural history.

As with most Artswego presentations, the troupe will partake in a local residency, which will include an open master class in contemporary dance Tuesday evening, Feb. 11, open to SUNY Oswego students and local advanced dance students (for information, email artswego@oswego.edu). They also will visit students in the college’s “Dance History” course.

Tickets for the Waterman Theatre concert cost $20 for the general public; $15 for SUNY Oswego faculty, staff and alumni; and $5 for SUNY Oswego students, other students and children. Tickets are available online at tickets.oswego.edu, at any SUNY Oswego box office or by calling 315-312-3073.

For more information on arts programming and events at SUNY Oswego, visit oswego.edu/arts.

Soaring performance -- The soaring and sublime skills of the dancers of Cie Hervé Koubi will take the Waterman Theatre stage on Feb. 12 when the troupe performs “What the Day Owes to the Night” as the next installment in the college’s Artswego series. (Photo credit: Nathalie Sternalski)