Samir Akika

'Funny How' © Jörg Landsberg
'Close Your Eyes', © Jörg Landsberg
'Close Your Eyes', © Jörg Landsberg

Samir Akika was born in Algeria and grew up in Paris. He first studied Physics, Mathematics and Sports in Paris and Miami. After a late dance education at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, he worked as an independent dancer and choreographer.

In 2009, he founded the label Unusual Symptoms together with his longterm production partner Alexandra Morales; in addition to Akika’s own choreographic works, the label produces projects by other artists as well. In addition, he is connected to the Goethe Institute in a ten-year work relationship; he realises projects throughout the world for them. Since the 2012/13 season, Samir Akika/ Unusual Symptoms has been directing the dance theatre department of the Bremen Theatre.
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'Funny How' © Jörg LandsbergEven though he certainly stems from a classical school, Samir Akika is certainly an extraordinary figure. When he took on the post as house choreographer at the Bremen Theatre during the 2012/13 season, Akika completely mixed up the audience’s coordinate system. He brought an ensemble with him, Unusual Symptoms, that the Goetheplatz had never seen before: a collective with the features of a big family whose specific characteristics and structure – including the offspring – reached all the way to the stage, as it did in Me & My Mum, one of the first productions that Akika showed in Bremen. The stage was used to cook, play, frolic, bathe, make house music and sing. And of course dance.

It was loud, anarchic and garish. Again and again, pieces such as Funny, How? or Penguins and Pandas, which dissolved the borders between dance, theatre and other art forms, made reference to worlds of images outside the theatre – to film, but also to dance from the streets and pop. Above all, his love of film characterised his most recent works. Die Zeit der Kirschen, a homage to Jacques Tati, and Einer flog über das Kuckucksnest based on the novel by Ken Kesey and the film by Milos Forman, showed a new delight in precisely choreographed and simultaneously entertaining forms of narration in which the choreographer remained true to his anarchic spirit.
Andreas Schnell

Productions since 2014

'Funny How' © Jörg LandsbergBelleville (2014)

Close Your Eyes (2014)

Symptom Tanz (2014)

Die Zeit der Kirschen (2015)

Einer flog über das Kuckucksnest (2015)