Nuit Blanche à Ouagadougou

Serge Aimé Coulibaly / Faso Danse Théâtre

“When one is born and grows up in countries where the political situation has a huge impact on the simplest things of everyday life, creating becomes a political act and this is undoubtedly what makes me the dancer and choreographer that I am.” – Serge-Aimé Coulibaly

A public square, at night, in Ouaga or elsewhere. Some refuse to sleep… A society tramples its sleeping pills, in a hurry to finally seize its destiny.

Nuit blanche à Ouagadougou is inspired by the different social movements that recently shook Africa. Based on a choreographic phrase destined to condense time – an imaginary night in an African capital -, the performers shake up conventions. Violence is there, deaf and tangible, as is doubt, the waiting, the night watch, the times of awakening, the succession of fears, the anecdotes and stories that are being told and that succeed one another… The threads of the choreography interweave these movements with Smokey’s musical complicity.

Nuit blanche à Ouagadougou, an ode to metamorphosis, based on urgency, suspense and the unexpected.

Nuit blanche à Ouagadougou by Serge-Aimé Coulibaly premiered in Ouagadougou at the end of October 2014, within the festival Récréatrales following a six-week residency in Ankata, Bobo Dioulasso.

« How to get to tomorrow? And how will tomorrow end? Who will be there to hold future’s hand so that it doesn’t tremble, so that it smiles? ». Such was the theme of this edition of Les Récréatrales for which its artistic director, Etienne Minoungou, desired the stage to open itself to the street…

Nuit blanche à Ouagadougou opened the festival, evoking an insurrection night in an imaginary capital on the African continent. The premiere took place a few days before the people of Burkina Faso chased away President Blaise Compaoré. Reality caught up with fiction. What was being portrayed on stage, was happening in reality in the streets of Ouagadougou.

Nuit blanche à Ouagadougou gives a central part to Smockey, songwriter and performer, Kora for best rapper 2010 and one of the leaders of the spearhead movement of the contestation « Le balai citoyen » (The civic broom).

The very contemporary choreographic writing of Serge-Aimé Coulibaly brings the immersion of this creation in the African political reality to full light. A public square, at night, in Ouaga or elsewhere. Some refuse to sleep… The country suddenly awakenes when sleep is finally chased away by the intoxication of change.

Choosing, together, to replay the events of the day: characters who walk past each other and wonder, a succession of self-portraits, an accumulation of movements. Confusing fiction, the bodies never cease to transmit the spasms of an epileptic reality. From dusk till dawn.


Concept and Choreography: Serge-Aimé Coulibaly
Texts and Music: Smockey Bambara
Dramaturgy: Sara Vanderieck
Choreographer Assistant: Sayouba Sigué
Performers: Marion Alzieu, Smockey Bambara, Serge-Aimé Coulibaly, Adonis Nébié, Sayouba Sigué
Set design: Marie Szersnovicz – PL/NK (Peter De Blieck & Ruth Boute)
Costumes: Marie Szersnovicz
Light Design: Hermann Coulibaly – Kurt Lefevre
Additional sound and music: Sam Serruys

 A production by Faso Danse Théâtre

In coproduction with: Studios Kabako in partnership with the Association 1er Temps, as part of the Pamoja program supported by the Program ACP-UE that supports the cultural sector ACP financed by the European Union / Les Récréâtrales (Burkina Faso) / Le TARMAC, the francophone international Paris / Pôle Sud – Choreographic Development Centre in prefiguration, Strasbourg / De Grote Post – Ostende

Trailer and video

In the press

“Serge Aime Coulibaly’s dance hits hard. Coulibaly became known in the 2000s as an interpreter of Flemish choreographer Alain Platel and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, His dance has changed considerably since his first solo parts in 2002. Dynamic, swirling in its beginnings, it has evolved to explode in stormy, tempestuous sharp gestures. His dance thrashes the body, moves it without mercy for over an hour.” Rosita Boisseau – Le Monde

About Serge Aimé Coulibaly

Serge-Aimé Coulibaly, is a dancer and choreographer from Burkina Faso.
He was an actor, musician, and dancer of the Feeren company from Burkina Faso (the first professional theater company in West Africa), directed by Amadou Bourou and toured widely in Africa and Europe. Coulibaly choreographed the opening show of the African Football Cup (CAN) Burkina 98 as well as the opening show of the Panafrican Film Festival of Ouagadougou.

From 2001 onwards he created a number of works in France and joined the famous Belgium company, Les Ballet C de la B in 2002. He performed in Wolf, C(h)oeurs by Alain Platel and, Tempus Fugit by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. In 2002 Serge Aimé founded his own company Faso Danse Théåtre in Burkina Faso and in France. And ever since there has been no looking back. ‘Every artistic act is a political act’ says Coulibaly and hence his work always talks about socio- political issues. He created a number of works with his company.

A benguer deals with the complex issue of immigration. In Babemba Coulibaly takes historical figures from contemporary Africa such as Lumumba, Sankara and Mandela. Using them as examples and sources of inspiration he confronts the youth with their hopes and engagement. With Solitude d’un homme intègre, Coulibaly speaks of the revolution of his inspiration, Thomas Sankara, and analyses the current relationship between Burkina Faso and France.

In Kohkuma 7o south it is all about possibilities of an African Renaissance. What if the painful histories of the continent can lead to a change in which people start creating their own destiny and are no longer prisoner of their past?

Coulibaly’s latest work, Nuit blanche à Ouagadougou created ripples: the piece predicted the downfall of the president and the work has been well received.

All his works have toured extensively throughout Africa and Europe. Besides creating work for is own company, he is regularly invited as a choreographer by different organizations all over the world such as by Marrugeku in Australia. Here he has been working with Aboriginal dance theatre and has been constructing ways to create contemporary work from the Aboriginal forms. He has also been working with choreographers and dancers in India giving choreography masterclasses.

And in Africa he tours extensively with his masterclass ‘When I dance I speak, when I speak I might be dancing’ in which he looks into the history of African dance, the history of contemporary dance in Europe and in Africa and questions how Africans can create their own contemporary vision and work that is not always in reference to Europe.

With his differents creations, Serge Aimé Coulibaly has developed an original contemporary language, which is rich and powerful, anchored in African Culture.


Frans Brood Productions – – +32 9 234 12 12