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Clément Cogitore: Les Indes Galantes

Les Indes Galantes, Clément Cogitore

Les Indes Galantes (The amorous indies), is an opera-ballet created by Jean Philippe Rameau in 1735. He was inspired for one of the dance by tribal Indian dances of Louisiana performed by Metchigaema chiefs, in Paris in 1723. Clément Cogitore adapts a short part of the ballet by mobilizing a group of Krump dancers, an art form born in Los Angeles black ghetto in the 1990s. Its birth occurred in the aftermath of the death of Rodney King and the riots, as well as police repression it triggered. Amidst this coercive atmosphere, young dancers started to embody the violent tensions of the physical, social and political body. Both the tribal dance performed in Paris in 1723, and the rebellious Krump dancers of the 1990s shape a reenactment of Rameau’s original libretto, staging young people dancing on the verge of a volcano.


After studying at the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs of Strasbourg, and at the Fresnoy-National Studio of Contemporary Arts Clément Cogitore develope an artistic practice halfway between cinema and contemporary art. Combining film, video, installations and photographs his work questions the modalities of cohabitation of men with their images.

There is often question of ritual, collective memory, figuration of the sacred as well as a particular idea of the permeability of the worlds.

His films have been selected for numerous international festivals (Cannes, Locarno, Lisbon, Montréal…) and won several awards. His work has also been screened or presented in various museums (Palais de Tokyo Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, Haus der Kultur der Welt, Berlin, Museum of fine arts, Boston, MoMA New-York…).