Danse des guerriers de la ville

Compagnie par Terre, Anne Nguyen

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For choreographer Anne Nguyen, urban dance is ‘a contemporary martial art, made to defy the hostile urban environment.’ To enable everyone to learn the basics of urban dance, she has created a circuit in the Stadsschouwburg, which can be visited before and after her performance Kata. The various interactive installations, which use video and motion sensors, entice the audience to move, improvise and feel momentarily like an expert breakdancer.

backround information

Danse des guerriers de la ville (2016) (‘Dance of the city warriors’) is an experimental art project, suitable for anyone over the age of eight. This multimedia installation by French dancer and

choreographer Anne Nguyen, founder of Compagnie par Terre, combines live hip-hop dance with audience participation and various multimedia techniques. Nguyen and her dance company are also performing Kata at Stadsschouwburg during the Festival.

In Danse des guerriers de la ville spectators walk past a series of interactive installations that present different forms of ultramodern video techniques, including live capture, animation, interactive montage, virtual reality and 360-degree film – all radically new ways of experiencing dance, Nguyen believes. Each installation concentrates on a specific element of hip-hop/breakdance, including tuts, bounce, battle, freestyle and jam, and invites the spectators to try out different ways of experimenting with these concepts. Visitors to the installation are encouraged to react to video images, sounds and music, manipulate their own images, or join in and improvise their own dances. In this way the audience is given an impression of all the different possibilities of hip-hop dance.


Danse des guerriers de la ville is a choreographic journey. The installation is inspired by Manuel du Guerrier de la Ville (‘Manual of the City Warrior’), a collection of poems by Anne Nguyen. The poems are an ode to the powerful aspirations of hip-hop dance: the drive to absorb the forms and energies that surround us; the need to re-connect with our animal instincts and develop our physical expressiveness; and the quest for balance between technical constraints and freedom.

For Nguyen, hip-hop is a spontaneous form of resistance, a contemporary form of martial art, which came into being as a creative weapon against the hostility and dangers of the big city: an environment which forces constraints and limitations on the human body and violently transforms it. Hip-hop, according to Nguyen, is a form of dance which challenges these limitations. Danse des guerriers de la ville premiered in the Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse on 12 October, 2016 and can now be experienced for the first time in the Netherlands. 



French dancer, choreographer and poet Anne Nguyen is rooted in hip-hop culture. As a B-girl she has participated in hundreds of battles and performed with many hip-hop and contemporary dance 

companies,  such as Blanc Blanc Beur, Faustin Linyekula and Salia Nï Seydou. She has also performed with the breakdance crews Red Mask (Montreal), Phase T, Def Dogz and Créteil Style (Paris). Nguyen has won several prizes in breakdance, for both solo and group works, in major competitions such as the International Breakdance Event (2004) and Battle of the Year (2005). She is an expert in several forms of martial arts including capoeira, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Viet Vo Dao and Wing Chun. In 2005 she founded her own company, Compagnie par Terre, and made her breakthrough in the same year with the solo performance Square Root. This work combined mathematical sequences with Nguyen’s own poetry, and made a connection between the geometric movements of breakdance and the oppressive effects of the contemporary urban environment. Following this, she created nine further shows including the duet Yonder Woman (2010), the walk for eight poppers PROMENADE OBLIGATOIRE (2012), the female quartet Autarcie (….) (2013) and bal.exe (2014), a robot dance to chamber music, performed by eight poppers and five classical musicians. Nguyen’s poems and articles have been published in Danser Magazine, Repères and Cahier de Danse, amongst others. Nguyen was awarded the SACD Nouveau Talent Choréographie prize in 2013, and in 2015 was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. For the 2015/2016, 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons Nguyen is an associate artist at Chaillot – Théâtre national de la Danse where Kata, her tenth production, was premiered on 11 October 2017.



Anne Nguyen, Claudio Cavallari
Claudio Cavallari
Sébastien Lété
advies, technische regie
Franck Lacourt

This performance was made possible with support by