Hervé Koubi

Herve Koubi’s trans-cultural spin

The French choreographer draws on many movement traditions to create a powerful dance experience

Before the performance of his La Compagnie Hervé Koubi in a packed Lincoln Hall began, Koubi asked to read a short prepared statement.

Perhaps aware of how irrepressibly French he looked and sounded, he apologized to the White Bird crowd for his uncertainty with English with an impish smile. His statement began on the point of how very French it was to be named Hervé and be from Cannes. Until his twenties, Hervé was as sure of his Frenchness as we Americans in the audience were. However, when asking his aging father for stories about his ancestors, he learned that his origins were very different. His taciturn father simply showed him a photograph of an Algerian man in traditional dress. This man only spoke Arabic, his father said, and so did the rest of his family and his ancestors.


La Compagnie Hervé Koubi performs 'What the Day Owes the Night'/

La Compagnie Hervé Koubi performs ‘What the Day Owes the Night’/

“He is your grandfather,” said Hervé’s father. That was how Hervé found out he was in fact French-Algerian. And origins and cultural fusion were two major themes in the intense and acrobatic dance, “What the Day Owes the Night,” that followed.