• Press

Umoove - 30 January 2015

Louise Dutertre

La légèreté des tempêtes
The four [dancers] on stage intensify with this lightness of movement, this shifting, enabling them to be the space and be in the space at the same time. Sometimes overwhelmed by their desire, their bodies let go, releasing fluidity and conflict at once. The gestures and energy shifts are as surprising as they are intoxicating. We allow ourselves to be carried away by these headwinds with delight. […]

Danser Canal Historique - 13 November 2014

Agnès Izrine

La légèreté des tempêtes
[…] La Légèreté des tempêtes, with its flourishes and remissions, is a jubilant, pulsating piece, which brings music and choreography together in a single torrent, to show us the anatomy of sensation.

La Voix du Nord - 2 December 2013

Anne Monneau

Karma, the history of life

There are just two benches on stage. Here, the scenery is the bodies. It all starts with a cup of coffee and Western-style music. As if inhabited by the music, the bodies loosen up and move. Then humour comes into play, in the form of mimicry and miming, making us smile and laugh. A spirited battle follows, both against themselves and the world.

Karma is the new work by the Danse Windows project, initiated by Carolyn Carlson to promote contemporary dance. Created in 2013 by Christian and François Ben Aïm, this choreography blends classical dance, contemporary dance and hip-hop. The whole is harmonious and the spectator is transported into a mystical world that’s impossible to leave.
With their eyes raised to the sky, the dancers (Marco Chenevier, Yutaka Nakata and Alhousseyni N’Diaye) seem to invoke a divine power and surrender to it. Does the end of the show represent the end of life or the start of a new cycle? The piece concludes with the dance of the “crystal woman”, who represents man’s weakness, but also his inner strength and determination. It is a magnificent moment that makes us want the dancer to rise up endlessly, to move us once more.

Dfdanse, Montreal’s contemporary dance magazine - 27 November 2013

Justine Parisien-Dumay

Valse en trois temps – Tangente introduces a double bill presenting the work of Sarah Dell’Ava and that of the Ben Aïm brothers, both of which explore, in their own different ways, the source of movement and the impetus it generates. […]
In the second part of the show we were given a glimpse of the impressive work orchestrated by Christian and François Ben Aïm. Valse en trois temps only lasted fifteen minutes this evening, but we devoured every note of the solo dance performed by the splendid Aurélie Berland.
The solo begins with an intense sense of vulnerability; a single light follows the dancer’s face. She looks out at the audience without flinching, but the imaginary mass in her mouth precludes all discussion. As she crosses the length and breadth of the stage the lighting radiates around the entire space, and the exhilarating journey begins. Mozart, Offenbach, Liszt and Schubert follow in quick succession, but they must defend their musical stature next to the movement that pulses inside the performer and explodes out of her.
What is expressed through this series of contractions, tension, release and flight is none other than the sweet, clear reflection of the music itself. The dancer does not attempt to convey all the subtleties of classical melody, but she is certainly on the right track, striking at the right moment with her unpredictable body movements.
As the music climaxes, the performer opens up her body, without, however, giving everything away. She holds something back; she has effectively discovered the source of the movement inside her. But it is too precious a find for her to reveal to us explicitly. She shares it with us and we respond with a feeling of exhilaration, with wide-eyed wonder and a desire to do as she does, which is more than enough, we think you’ll agree!

Danser - January / February 2012

Philippe Verrièle

Ô mon frère! […] This piece was performed in Avignon this summer. They scored a little hit with their absolutely delightful trio Ô mon frère!. It is an old piece (2001) that dates back to the start of the duo’s career. The intense trio felt all the more intimate in the round room of the Condition des Soies theatre. It is a tragic pilgrimage, an endless march, both intense and painful. The body language evokes a masculine camaraderie, the dance of brothers in arms. It develops in sequences linked to a very subtle soundtrack that mixes Leonard Cohen with the sound of the wind. There is no narrative, contrasting with the choreographers’ reputation for theatricality, but a succession of flashes of exhausted heroism of the kind so often seen at the end of Westerns, when the heroes are all the more handsome in their exhaustion. A stick is passed from one to another, transforming from a weapon to a crutch, and the three performers juggle and move forward and hesitate before coming together again. The rough dance movements recall wrestling, capoeira, and martial arts, even if this is not always intentional. Ten years after its creation, the whole trio is still a remarkable expression of the powerful connection that enables the Ben Aïm brothers to work together. In this, there is something almost poetic about it.

LA TERRASSE - July 2011

Nathalie Yokel

The brothers do the splits with two propositions: Ten years separate the trio O my brother! of their latest creation Valse en trois temps.
As they prepare for their next creation The Ogress, Christian and François Ben Aïm take the time to stop at the Avignon Festival to show the evolution of a real work of the company, in a dance-theater way with the same desire for frank physicality and a complicit relationship with the music .

O my brother, created in 2011, drew pictures of the photographer Josef Koudelka and gathered three dancers in a fraternal saga where the harshness of life in a body to body choreography flirting with fight or brawl, on Leonard Cohen’s music. They also present their latest creation, designed as a triptych exploring three different musical styles. Valse en trois temps has the generosity of projects designed without complex nor constraints: a solo, duet and trio carried by the two choreographers and dancers who know well the style of the two brothers. The duo is gaining momentum in a relationship man wife-swinging up and carrying away the bodies; the trio offers both dark and comic accents on the crazy universe of the Tiger Lillies. More surprisingly, the solo reveals a finer and more abstract writing, which Aurélie Berland incarnates with great accuracy. Always on the wire and a great delicacy, she takes us through different states composed and recomposed on greatest hits of classical music. To be enjoyed without moderation.

Le Monde - July 23rd, 2011

Rosita Boisseau

Dansed brotherhood of Christian and François Ben Aïm

They do everything together. And separately. One dances or choreographies, so does the other one. Until July 26th at La Caserne des pompiers, with the support of Région Champagne-Ardenne, this small family business is a hit with Valse en trois temps, composed of a duet, a solo and a trio.

” We’ve always done everything together, says Christian Ben Aim, 35. At College, in High school, we discovered mime, theater and dance. I followed big brother – François being five years older than I am. Sometimes we do not know if we’re still brothers, or choreographers at first, but we truly respect our family bond. ”

Anomaly in the context of contemporary dance, the Ben Aïm brothers have also everything of an incongruity. They love, they adore dance that dances, the one that seeks pleasure and exaltation in the original movement sequences. And they succeed wonderfully, inventing a fluid and light writing, very swing in the hips, swirling on stage as a whipped cream is brought up.
They also have the joyous mood, enjoying pleasure itself, the one that gives the motion a life-threatening emergency. On jazz music, a great remix of classical ballet scores and blues pop group Tiger Lillies, the brothers are free men who have nothing to sell or demonstrate.

La Terrasse - November 2011

Nathalie Yokel

L’ogresse des archives et son chien – Beyond reality, a contemporary fable.
[…] A good dose of fantasy helps us talk about our fears, our ghosts, and the violence of a world in which we construct our own identity. In this show, we get the chance to meet some of the imaginary characters that populated our childhood. But the choreographers cross the line between fantasy and reality by continually shifting and disrupting what we already know. There are diversions, transformations, reimaginings…cut-and-pastes that become crazily absurd to say the least, but that resonate with reality and even the here and now. In the end, we navigate consciously between reality and fantasy, as we are transported into an unusual new imaginary world. A dozen or so performers – dancers, circus artists and musicians – take part in this entertaining mashup, characterised by the same lively, poetic and often physical style of dance that the company has been known for since its debut.

Mouvement.net - June 21st, 2011

Charlotte Imbault

Back to the beginning of the festival June Events

The first two days of the fifth edition of June Events had nice proposals regarding possible relationships between music and dance. In the solo of Valse en trois temps lead by Christian and François Ben Aim, we can hear great classic tunes:Vivaldi, Tchaïchovski … and yet there is Aurélie Berland. And the connection between music and dance changes. Broken wrists, neck extended, feet on the toes or flex, the dancer trembles, operates jerky movements, managing to gather all the energy of her body. An all in one. A certain rigidity of the traditional body of the dancer is visible, but with distance and a certain nonchalance, with a gesture sometimes resembling Charlie Chaplin’s. Here, the impact of the dancer sweeps away what we can hear.
Charlotte Imbault

L’EST ÉCLAIR - 21 November 2011

Laurence Bébének

Created in 2011, Christian and François Ben Aïm’s original piece, called L’Ogresse des archives et son chien, is a fable that brings together a variety of weird and wonderful characters from fairy tales, such as witches and Little Red Riding Hoods. In total, a dozen or so artists appear on stage: circus performers, dancers, musicians and film makers all contribute to a show that transports young and old into a fantasy universe. In a simple yet stunning backdrop (featuring a swaying tree), unusual characters (eight Little Red Riding Hoods that circle around each other on tiny bikes) create an offbeat atmosphere that is brimming with surprises, energy and dreams. Playing with proportions, with the images sometimes reversed, the transformations are at the core of this original, daring piece. The show begins with a short film (around 10 mins) that fires the viewer’s imagination. It is followed by a succession of beautiful images superimposed onto the stage, revealing an empty space that is quickly filled by whirling silhouetted figures.

Télérama - March 12th, 2011

Mathieu Braunstein

We were warned. The play of Christian and François Ben Aïm would be performed in the first part of Manoel de Oliveira’s film. A choreographic «curtain raiser», before diving into fantastic. We were tempted, enticed by the fun but fleeting memories of another «mouthing», in which Christian, the youngest, arose on a tiny bike, a Red Riding Hood with half-court shoes or like an unleashed lumberjack (Louves , 2008). Here, in contrast, no beautiful scenery, just a soundtrack featuring a patchwork of classic tunes. And a dancer falsely sick of dancing. Rare and unclassifiable, the Ben Aïm Brothers come from pantomime. This is reflected in their body language, touching with modesty, and a worked awkwardness. There’s something a little outdated in this idea of «curtain raiser «. Also shifted is the play, evoking almost mechanically – by the framework and format – short burlesque films. In this solo, which gives us a taste of a duet and a trio to come, a sort of Buster Keaton in the feminine scale (among others) in Swan Lake … We plunge willingly.

Webthéa - October 2005

Philippe Verrièle

Ô mon frère!: tender and modest
The three men of Ô mon frère! are hefty and strong, and their performance style is not in the least bit dainty. Created in 2001, this piece explores a brawny aesthetic that its authors, the Ben Aïm brothers, have somewhat neglected of late. It offers a clear analysis of the bonds males form when faced with stress, danger, doubt. It is a piece that investigates male camaraderie, a dance of exhausted cowboys, of brothers in arms. It develops in sequences linked to a very subtle soundtrack that mixes Leonard Cohen with the sound of the wind. There is no clear narrative, but a succession of flashes of exhausted heroism of the kind so often seen at the end of Westerns, when the heroes are all the more handsome in their exhaustion. A stick is passed from one to another, transforming from a weapon to a crutch, and the three performers juggle and move forward and hesitate and hate each other before coming together again. The dance movements, which are suitably rough given the context, recall wrestling, capoeira, and martial arts, even it is not clear if this is intentional.  Quite simply, this meeting of men, shot through with violent affection, assumes that these rivalries will degenerate into a concerted movement of understanding. With tenderness and a great deal of modesty, this piece speaks to the dance of men and the affection between them in a tone that is highly unusual and yet essential.