Rima Abdul Malak, Minister of Culture, in agreement with Olivier Capitanio, President of the Departmental Council of Val-de-Marne, Laurent Cathala, Mayor of Créteil, and Patrick Penot, President of the National Choreographic Centre, gives its approval to the appointment of Mehdi Kerkouche as director of the Centre chorégraphique national (CCN) of Créteil and Val-de-Marne.

Based on his personal history and his career, Mehdi Kerkouche wants to inscribe the CCN as a space without borders, in the image of dance, a horizon open to all types of diversity and connected to all stories and plural identities. This mindset, at the heart of its commitment, will create the conditions for an engaged and inclusive project.

As a child of television and image, passionate about the stage and musical comedy in particular, he began as a professional dancer before he was 18. His experience of the stage as a dancer confirmed his choreographic vocation. He teaches at AID, Académie internationale de la Danse, as well as at Studio Harmonic and Lax Studio in Paris. Since 2017, he has been developing his company EMKA, faithful support of his projects, with the desire to «[connect] different bodies and styles around an energetic and poetic gesture». During the first lockdown, the clarity of his expression and his artistic strength earned him a viral success on social networks. In the fall of 2020, he is invited by Aurélie Dupont to sign a piece for the dancers of the Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris et Chaillot - Théâtre national de la Danse hosts the third edition of its festival We dance at your place. With its first two plays, the Théâtre de Suresnes has identified it and will open the Suresnes Cité Danse festival in January 2023.

Mehdi Kerkouche is carrying out an opening project for the CCN of Créteil and Val-de-Marne by affirming choreography as a universal language and proposing a CCN open to all dances and styles. His project Create, Gather, Share includes the establishment of a digital creation studio based on its conviction that "Well balanced, physical and digital creation can only respond, complement each other and allow the acquisition of an ever larger and new audience."

It wishes to draw in particular on the experience acquired around the event it created, We dance at your place, to unite a broad and diverse audience around dance, both through its future creations and through the multiple proposals for the CCN’s implementation territory that it wishes to strengthen.

It intends to direct its studio-hosting support towards better support for companies in particular in terms of dissemination, including through digital art residencies for a wider circulation of works.

Finally, he wants to make the CCN of Créteil and Val-de-Marne “a reference centre for Greater Paris, which at the same time respects the history of its urban territory, both in Paris and beyond the ring road, in direct collaboration with all of the SCC’s partner structures in the choreographic field and beyond.”

Mehdi Kerkouche will succeed on 1er January 2023 to Mourad Merzouki who has headed the Centre chorégraphique since September 2009. The Minister would like to commend him for his commitment to the development of dance and in particular hip-hop during these years, building on his creations and the Kalypso festival.