Live-Filmed Performance from France
La Boxeuse amoureuse
A Genre-Bending Original Creation from La Seine Musicale Featuring Music, Ballet, and Boxing
Music by Arthur H Choreographed and performed by Marie-Agnès Gillot
Tuesday, February 16–Sunday, February 28, 2021
In French with English subtitles • Online
“An unexpected and very successful trio” – France Inter
La Boxeuse amoureuse takes us inside Boulogne-Billancourt’s new venue, La Seine Musicale, for a stirring genre-bending performance that brings together music, ballet, and boxing.
French singer-songwriter Arthur H—three-time winner of France’s Victoire de la music, the country’s highest musical honor—and former Paris Opera Ballet étoile Marie-Agnès Gillot combine for a symbolic battle, filled with emotion and ambiguity.
In 2017, Arthur H released a transfixing music video portraying a poetic sparring match between Gillot and actor Roschdy Zem. The clip has been viewed more than 4 million times. Three years later, the Seine Musicale invited the musician and the prima ballerina to develop the video into a live performance.
Gillot transforms the Seine Musicale into a boxing ring where she stages a series of confrontations with Olympic boxing champion Souleymane Cissokho and athletes Staiv Gentis and Tom Duquesnoy. They are accompanied by Arthur H performing his varied and eclectic catalogue drawing influences from Bach, jazz, blues, gypsy, and Middle Eastern music with instrumentalist Nicolas Repac.
These six performers, through their various styles, combine music, dance, and physical prowess to create a unique and total performance.
Winner of three Victoires de la musique and the Académie Charles Cros Prize, Arthur H is known for his warm voice, poetic lyrics, and futuristic music hall sensibilities. He collaborated with his friend Nicolas Repac on both volumes of his Poetika Musika collection: L’Or noir devoted to poetry from the French-speaking Caribbean, and L’Or d’Eros dedicated to erotic poetry from Bataille to Apollinaire and Ghérasim Luca. In 2015, Actes Sud published Le Cauchemar merveilleux, a collection of his punk-mystical poems, followed by La musique des mots, the complete texts (Points, 2015), and Fugues, his first novel (Mercure de France, 2019).
Marie-Agnès Gillot joined the Paris Opera School of Dance at the age of nine. Upon her admission to the corps de ballet in 1989, she explored classical and contemporary repertoires through works by Rudolf Nureyev, Georges Balanchine, Roland Petit, Maurice Béjart, Angelin Preljocaj, and William Forsythe. Named étoile after a performance of Carolyn Carlson’s Signs, Gillot collaborated renowned artists such as Jiří Kylián, Mats Ek, Wayne McGregor, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet, Crystal Pite, and Pina Bausch who, in 2005, offered her the title role in Orphée et Eurydice, a danced opera that she chose to reprise for her farewell to the stage in 2018. Gillot has also made notable appearances several music videos including Benjamin Biolay’s La Superbe, Sia’s Eye of the Needle, R.E.M.’s Walk It Back directed by Sophie Calle. In 2019, she conceived and performed Magma with flamenco dancer Andrés Marín, directed by Christian Rizzo.
Souleymane Cissokho is a French Olympic boxing champion
Born in Dakar, Senegal, Olympic medalist Souleymane Cissokho arrived in France at the age of four. Looking to practice a sport with a group of friends, he was immediately fascinated by boxing. At the age of 14, he began training at the Boxing Athletic Club in the Ninth Arrondissement in Paris, and a year and a half later, he won the French championship in the cadet division. With more than 150 fights to his credit and an exemplary career as a cadet, junior, and senior, he became a captain of the French team from 2013 to 2016. He won a bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, a gold medal at the Olympic qualification tournament, a gold medal at the Francophone Games in Beirut in 2009, and five French championship titles.