Spotlight on Choreographer Mourad Merzouki

We’re shining the spotlight on famed hip-hop choreographer and trailblazer, Mourad Merzouki.

In the ever-evolving world of hip-hop dance, one name stands out as a beacon of innovation and artistic brilliance – French choreographer, Mourad Merzouki. He began choreographing at the age of 20 and quickly proved himself as a true pioneer in the world of hip-hop dance. His distinctive style seamlessly fuses traditional hip-hop techniques with acrobatics and boxing. Always looking to innovate and experiment, Merzouki frequently pushes boundaries by collaborating with visual artists, acrobats, and musicians. 

Want to learn more about the genius of Mourad Merzouki? The documentary Dance Alchemist provides an exclusive peek into a choreographer’s life and career.

In 1996, he founded his own dance company, Käfig, which translates to “cage” in both Arabic and German. Since then, he has choreographed over 60 incredible works and is the director of two choreography centers and two dance festivals. Let’s take a closer look at five of his most innovative pieces. 


Pixel – 2014

Mourad Merzouki’s Pixel 

 Pixel is a testament to Merzouki’s drive for innovation. A brilliant collaboration between Merzouki and digital artists Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, Pixel masterfully marries the world of dance with cutting-edge technology. Digital projections come to life, reacting to dancers as they move across the stage. Dancers become avatars in a digital realm, transcending the boundaries of the physical stage. This groundbreaking piece is a snapshot of modernity that reimagines the possibilities of hip-hop dance in the digital age.


Boxe Boxe Brasil – 2017 

Mourad Merzouki’s Boxe Boxe Brasil 

In Boxe Boxe Brasil, Merzouki intertwines the raw energy of boxing with the fluidity of dance and the beauty of live classical music provided by The Debussy Quartet. Merzouki was inspired by an encounter with young Brazilian dancers. He realized that ”Dancing is their way of existing, of getting out of the difficulties of everyday life.” In the piece, Merzouki mirrors their story, incorporating humor, live boxing, and music, showing off his uncanny ability to combine inspiration from unexpected sources. 


Vertikal –  2018 

Mourad Merzouki’s Vertikal 

After exploring the 3rd dimension in Pixel, Merzouki wanted to explore a different plane. Vertikal features 12 dancers who scale walls, float weightlessly above the stage, and defy the laws of gravity with the help of specially created devices from the Retouramont company and Benjamin Lebreton. This piece pushes the boundaries of movement and showcases Merzouki’s ingenuity in using unconventional settings to express his artistic vision. Vertikal epitomizes his drive to redefine hip-hop dance and challenge the norms of performance.


Zéphyr –  2021

Mourad Merzouki Zéphyr

Inspired by the breath of the wind on the sea, Zéphyr is a mesmerizing exploration of the movements of wind and air. Inspired by the idea of sea navigation and various myths about the wind and tides, Merzouki uses industrial strength fans to create on-stage windstorms, moving dancers like windswept ships at sea. Through a harmonious blend of hip-hop, acrobatics, and interactive sets Merzouki’s Zéphyr is yet another captivating performance that transcends the boundaries of human movement.   


Phénix – 2022

Mourad Merzouki’s Phénix

With Phénix Merzouki delves deep into themes of renewal and transformation, inspired by the juxtaposition of the old and the new. The piece fuses electronic music with a live viola da gamba player ( an early cousin of the cello), who is surrounded by ever-moving dancers. The piece draws parallels with the mythical phoenix, symbolizing the resilience of the human spirit. Merzouki’s choreography creates an emotional narrative, capturing the spirit of rising from the ashes and finding new life through dance.

Since the early 90s, Mourad Merzouki has been leaving his mark on the world of hip-hop dance. His visionary choreography pushes boundaries, reshaping and influencing the art form. Through works like Pixel, Boxe Boxe Brasil, Vertikal, Zéphyr, and Phenix, Merzouki continues to inspire dancers to break free from conventions and explore the uncharted territories of movement.  You can watch full performances of these inspiring Merzouki pieces, and so much more, on-demand on Marquee TV. 


Watch the very best from Mourad Merzouki

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