Art'Core dancing in Boutmy during their show.

Dancing to the Beat of Sciences Po

Art’Core is a student society at the heart of Sciences Po which brings together dancers of all different styles. After their annual show we met with two of the dancers from the troupe.

Interview with Claire Bailly and Katell Coueraud, students in their second year at the undergraduate college and active members of the association.

What is Art’Core? How did it first start?

Claire: Art’Core is a student dance group at the Paris campus of Sciences Po. The club is made up of both undergraduates and graduates and it runs independently to classes run by the Sports Club. We are students who want to meet up outside of formal dance classes and create new routines in all different styles: hip-hop, classical, contemporary, afrobeat, and jazz etc. The club has been running for 7 years now and there are about 20 active members.

You have recently performed in a show, how does that work?

Katell: This show was an artistic collaboration between Batuka, a music group, and Art’Core, which took place in Sciences Po. There is no specific theme for the show, the aim is just to create something cooperative and to show what kinds of things we have been working on throughout the year. It is an opportunity for all the dancers to come up with choreography, and everyone is free to invent whatever they like!

Claire: Doing the show in the Boutmy lecture theatre really adds something to the performance. Normally we experience Boutmy under solemn and quite dry contexts, but it becomes a very warm and exciting space. The main aim of the show is to share the joy of performing with each other, Batuka, and of course the Sciences Po student community. Art’Core is a big family and that creates a fabulous group dynamic and energy. 

Do you take part in competitions?

Claire: Yes, alongside preparing for the show, we compete in inter-university competitions, called CRIT and Collégiades, as well as inter-university sports competitions. These are big projects and they require a lot of practice: from February to March for the CRIT, and the end of the second semester for Collégiades. The academic year kicks off with workshops, and a performance at “Cash and Trash” - a renowned event hosted by the Sports Club of Sciences Po. After that, we begin working on the Boutmy show; this is a good way to get to know the new members. This show also acts as a reminder that the spoken word is not the only way one can express themself. It also demonstrates that at Sciences Po public speaking is not the only way to express yourself; we use our bodies to communicate.

Besides competitions and shows, what other things do you offer?

Claire: We also have a Youtube channel with videos filmed by amateur videomakers from inside and outside of Sciences Po. For example, last year we made a short film with amateur directors who then went on to present their film, Bleu Désert, which was nominated by the British Film Institute!  We also do shows for other associations, like at the Sciences Po Fashion Show, or last year, in the Carreau du Temple in Paris. When possible, we try to export our brand outside the walls of Sciences Po. 

Katell: In an ideal world we would love to do more shows, but there are only two academic semesters in a year, which are already very busy, and we appreciate a lot the diversity of the projects which we are involved in. 

Do you have to already be a dancer to join Art’Core? 

Katell: Every year we hold auditions in September to select the future members of the group. To join us, it is important to have a certain technical base, but at the same time we do not discriminate. What we look for is diversity, expression, and individuality. The creativity, energy, and originality which each person brings are also essential for the dynamic of the group. Sometimes people can earn their place in the group because of their fantastic energy, even if their technique is not perfect.

Claire: You can be accepted by Art’Core because of your potential or desire to develop and improve. Within our group there are some people who have only been dancing for one or two years but who have reached a good level and developed a lot of creativity. Give it a go! 

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