Rachid Ouramdane
Ordinary Witnesses

Tuesday–Wednesday, October 11–12, 2011

Pre-Show Talk on Oct 11 at 6:30pm
Post-Show Talk on Oct 12 with Rachid Ouramdame
and Larry Siems
(view details)

Share on Facebook and Twitter

New York Times and Time Out New York Critics' Pick


This sublime and poetic new work by Rachid Ouramdane examines the effects of a violent past on bodies and minds. Based on extensive conversations with survivors of torture, the piece portrays violence as a withdrawal from humanity through dance. The artist probes the limitations of barbarity, exploring how the body transforms itself in the extreme tests of endurance. He shares portraits of those who have experienced the unimaginable, highlighting the repeated use of violence at a time when torture appears to be tolerated and even used legitimately on the global stage. A moving testimony to the extraordinary power of the human spirit.

"What can dance do that history books can't?"
—Rachid Ouramdane

"From show to show, Ouramdane raises questions about his roots or about the world around him. Here with a striking quintet of performers, he delves back into war and its consequences; exile and its wound."—Les Échos

Post-Show Talk on Oct 12  
with Rachid Ouramdame and Larry Siems
"What is the nature of the gap between personal experience and official history?" Rachid Ouramdane writes in his artist's notes for "Ordinary Witnesses." "What can dance do that history books can't?" Following the performance on Wed, Oct 12, Ouramdane joins Larry Siems for a conversation about art, activism, and history. Siems is the Director of Freedom to Write and International Programs at PEN American Center, which is co-producing the "Reckoning With Torture" national film project with director Doug Liman and the ACLU (the American Civil Liberties Union); and the author of the forthcoming The Torture Report: What the Documents Say about America's Post-9/11 Torture Program. Together, they will explore the role the arts can play in confronting the legacies of torture.

This event is part of Endurance/Resistance/Inspiration, one of Crossing the Line 2011's three curatorial program perspectives.


New York Live Arts
219 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011

Tickets (Oct 11)
Advance Sale: $24
Day of Performance: $30

Tickets (Oct 12)



Recent Buzz & Reviews

New York Times Critics’ pick
"... bravo to them (FIAF) for bringing these artists to New York.”
—Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times, Oct 7

Dancing Across Borders
The New Yorker, Fall Preview, Sept 26

Featured in "The Week Ahead" September 18-24, 2011
Roslyn Sulcas, The New York Times, Sept 18

A Writer of Bodies Delves into Survival
"Mr. Ouramdane is an essayist of the highest order, a writer of bodies that have one thing in common: the act of survival."
—Gia Kourlas, The New York Times, Sept 16

The Best Pieces from Two of the Top Festivals
Time Out New York, Aug 24


Co-presented with New York Live Arts

Funded in part by FUSED, a program of the National Dance Project/NEFA and 972, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, FACE, and the Florence Gould Foundation

Image: Rachid Ouramdane © Patrick Imbert

© French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)  |  22 East 60th Street, NYC  |  212 355 6100