New York Live Arts presents Company L’A. / Rachid Ouramdane

Ordinary Witnesses, October 11-12 at 7:30pm
World Fair, October 14-15 at 7:30pm
Co-Presented with FIAF’s Crossing the Line Festival

New York, NY, September 15, 2011 – New York Live Arts presents Company L’A. / Rachid Ouramdane in the North American Premiere of Ordinary Witnesses on October 11-12 at 7:30pm and the New York Premiere of World Fair on October 14-15 at 7:30pm. Both programs are co-presented with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s Crossing the Line Festival.

In his sublime and poetic new work Ordinary Witnesses, French maker and performer Rachid Ouramdane and his company explore the effects of a violent past on the body and mind. Based on extensive conversations with survivors of torture, Ouramdane portrays violence as a withdrawal from humanity. He probes the limitations of representing barbarity and explores how the body can transform itself in the extremes of endurance. He shares portraits of those who have experienced the unimaginable so that their suffering is not forgotten, and highlights the repeated use of violence at a time when torture appears to be tolerated and even used legitimately on the global stage. Performed by Lora Juodkaite, Mille Lundt, Jean-Claude Nelson, Georgina Vila-Bruch, and Jean-Baptiste André with music by composer and instrumentalist Jean-Baptiste Julien, Ordinary Witnesses is a moving testimony to the extraordinary power of the human spirit.

World Fair examines our notions of nationhood and identity by exploring the relationship between the body and power. Performed by Ouramdane with composer Jean-Baptiste Julien, the work considers how ideologies can be embodied in the physical world; what authorities can expect from a work of art; and what physical marks are left by political history.

Performances will take place at New York Live Arts’ Bessie Schönberg Theater, with a pre-show talk for Ordinary Witnesses on October 11 at 6:30pm, and a post-show talk on October 12 with Ouramdane and Larry Siems, Director of Freedom to Write and International Programs at the PEN American Center. A post-show talk for World Fair will be held on October 14. Tickets are $24 in advance, $30 day of performance, and $15 on October 12. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 212-924-0077, and in person at the box office. Box office hours are Monday to Friday from 1 to 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 8pm. New York Live Arts is located at 219 West 19th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues) in New York City.

Rachid Ouramdane’s performances are funded in part by FUSED: French U.S. Exchange in Dance, a program of the National Dance Project/New England Foundation for the Arts and 972, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE), and the Florence Gould Foundation.

About Rachid Ouramdane
Prior to founding Company L’A. in 2007 – a site for artistic exploration of contemporary identity – choreographer Rachid Ouramdane collaborated with artists such as Emmanuelle Huynh, Odile Duboc, Hervé Robbe, Meg Stuart, Catherine Contour, Christian Rizzo, Jeremy Nelson, Alain Buffard, and Julie Nioche, with whom he co-founded the company Fin Novembre in 1996. From the start, Rachid Ouramdane’s projects have exemplified the conceptual upheaval taking place in the realm of dance since the mid-90s. Along with many artists, Rachid Ouramdane has been reassessing the definitions of “performer” and “choreographer,” and questioning modes of producing and circulating artwork. The nature of his work has led to collaborations with institutions that traditionally focus on the visual arts (the FRAC Champagne/Ardennes in 2001 within the framework of his residency at the Manège de Reims from 2000 to 2004), and to a residency from 2005 to 2007 at the Ménagerie de Verre in Paris, a multidisciplinary space dedicated to contemporary artistic output. Very quickly, Rachid Ouramdane’s shows integrated video as a springboard for thinking about body-memory. The key element of each show is a unique encounter, resulting in an original artistic approach. Founding Company L’A in 2007 was a turning point for his work, which now aims to blur the boundaries between dance and documentary. It was in this period that he began his residency at the Théâtre de Gennevilliers, in parallel with his ongoing association with the Bonlieu-Scène Nationale d’Annecy as of 2005. In 2010, he started a new association with the Théâtre de la Ville – Paris. Alongside his creative projects, Rachid Ouramdane is actively involved in dialogue and pedagogy. He is regularly invited to France and other countries to lead artistic workshops and to moderate international encounters with artists (Russia, Rumania, Holland, Brazil, U.S.).

About New York Live Arts
New York Live Arts strives to create a robust framework in support of the nation’s dance and movement-based artists through new approaches to producing, presenting and educating. In addition to our deep commitment to individual artists at all stages of their careers, we endeavor to create rich, meaningful experiences for our audiences by engaging them in ways that are intimate and thought-provoking. With our audience, we seek to become a place for dance that is vital to the fabric of social and cultural life in New York, the United States and beyond.

Formed in February 2011 by a merger of Dance Theater Workshop and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, New York Live Arts is a re-imagining of the legacies of these two extraordinary organizations. New York Live Arts is located at 219 West 19th Street in New York City and is led by Bill T. Jones as Executive Artistic Director, Carla Peterson as Artistic Director, and Jean Davidson as Executive Director and CEO.

About Crossing the Line
Crossing the Line, the annual fall festival of the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), is conceived as a platform to present vibrant new works by a diverse range of significant transdisciplinary artists working on both sides of the Atlantic. It is initiated and produced by the FIAF in partnership with leading New York cultural institutions. Visit for more info.

Funding Support
Lead support for New York Live Arts is provided, in part, by Ford Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Open Society Foundations and the Fund for the City of New York, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and EmcArts Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The Rockefeller Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation, Trust for Mutual Understanding, SeaChange Capital Partners, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The Howard Gilman Foundation, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation and The Scherman Foundation.

The merger between the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theater Workshop to form New York Live Arts was supported, in part, by Ford Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and EmcArts Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, SeaChange Capital Partners, The New York Community Trust, Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation.