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Marcel Gbeffa

Fullbright Visiting Artist in Residence

Fullbright Scholar Marcel Gbeffa is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Multicorps Choregraphic Center in Cotonou, Benin, where he advocates for greater access and promotion of contemporary dance.

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Gbeffa trained at the ‘Ecole des Sables’ (Senegal), and began his career in 2008 with his solo “Et si” which launched him internationally at the Rencontres Chorégraphiques d’Afrique et de l’Océan Indien.

As a performer and assistant choreographer, he has worked and collaborated with choreographers such as Andreya Ouamba, Marceline Lartigue, and Reggie Wilson and has performed in venues as the “Théatre de la ville” in Paris and BAM in New York.

Since 2010, Gbeffa has been developing his own movement vocabulary, creating several collaborative works in Benin, Brazil, and throughout Europe. In recent years, he has worked with Anikaya Dance Theater (USA).

Always looking to invent new forms, his artistic approach is inspired and nourished by the traditional dances, rites, and rhythms of his Beninese culture and is hybridized through encounters, collaborations and influences from other disciplines. Contemporary art emerging from Beninese traditions and cults is one of his reservoirs of inspiration.

Recent major works include DIDE, a piece co-created with visual artist Sarah Trouche (France) which questions the place of women in society in Africa and in the world. Meanwhile, his meeting with the performer Violaine Lochu at ‘The Center’ (Art Center of Cotonou, Benin) during a joint residence during the winter of 2021 gave birth to AWOLI. He also created Mémoire d’Océan, a video installation which is a dialogue between the souls of enslaved Africans who died during the transatlantic slave trade and the souls of the young African people who die today while crossing the ocean to reach Europe.