Summer Intensive /
— SUTRA / Damien Fournier & Jade Xu

Level D
Week 1 & 2


After meeting the monks of the Shaolin temple in 2007, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui decided to work closely with the temple to develop a common project. He invited Antony Gormley for the set design and Polish composer Szymon Brzóska for the live performed music. Sutra became a common journey of cultural and social exchange. Through translations, negotiations and explanations, they created an artistic universe that found its way to the hearts of the audience. Talking about old and new China, the performance is also a reflection of the meeting between Cherkaoui, choreographic assistant Ali Ben Lotfi Thabet and the monks. It speaks about building and destroying, about transformations and games. The stage is filled with wooden boxes. These can form different constellations; becoming a wall, a bridge, a temple or a graveyard, they create a transformable space to travel through for the performers.

Damien Fournier was born in 1977 in France where he is currently based. At the age of 13, he fell in love with the circus and immediately signed up at the regional circus school in Toulouse, where he trained for five years before moving on to the National Centre for Circus Arts in Châlons (France). There he crossed the ways of Mario Gonzales, Francis Viet, Pal Frenak and Pierre Doussaint who influenced his career. While at the CNAC he got drawn to the creative universe of artists like Guy Alloucherie and Josef Nadj. After an injury during the exit show of the Cnac, Slowly, he decided to dedicate himself to contemporary dance entirely and left the circus world behind him. This meant a mental change as well. He turned to something more introspective, intimate. After school, he worked with Alloucherie (Les sublimes), Giorgio Barberrio Corsetti (Paradiso, Argonauti), Kitsou Dubois (Traversées). With the latter he discovered the parabolic flight (zero gravity) which was an extremely inspiring experience. He worked with Josef Nadj (Il n’y a plus de firmament, Asobu) where he collabored with Mariko Aoyama, Yoshi Oîda and Jean Babilé. He discovered Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui in Iets op Bach by Alain Platel, which impacted him deeply. In 2006 he joined Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui on Myth. Damien Fournier is impassioned about widening the vocabulary of dance through sources as diverse as sign language and personal narratives. Since Myth, he stayed involved with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Eastman. He acted as assistant-choreographer, rehearsal director and dancer in Sutra, dances in Babel(words) co-written with Damien Jalet, Puz/zle, 4D co-written with Damien Jalet, M¡longa and participated in the movie Anna Karenina.

Born in China, raised in Europe and now living in the United States, Jade Xu is an international martial arts icon and aspiring young actress who combines natural beauty, incredible talent and cultural diversity. Born in 1986, Jade’s rigorous training in the Chinese Martial Arts (Wushu / Kung Fu) started at the tender age of six under the strict guidance of her mother and master Xu Guan Guan, which eventually would lead her to an outstanding career filled with international victories and global recognition as one of the most accomplished female Wushu / Kung Fu athletes in the world. In 2009, Jade concluded her successful athletic career and moved on in her pursuit for artistic challenges by initiating a career as an actress. Since then she has played in european and Chinese Film and TV productions and is known for her portrayal of strong women in productions like the Chinese Martial Arts blockbuster ‘Tai Chi Zero’ & ‘Tai Chi Hero’, the popular Chinese TV series ‘The Legend of Wing Chun’ and her leading role in Cirque Du Soleil’s hit show, ‘Michael Jackson ONE’ in Las Vegas, for which Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui was one of the choreographers.