"I am inspired to make work either from personal experiences or observations of sociological subjects. The central theme of my research is interculturality, but I also am concerned with gender and sexuality issues, human relationships and spirituality. I do not make decisions based on polished finished aesthetics but on my creative motivation, which is to move toward a genuine incarnation of performance beyond the physical actions themselves. I focus my attention on creating a specific atmosphere where bodies, space and props meld into one whole.
Theatricality constructs the layout of my universe. Movement is then complemented by the use of the voice, different languages, specific objects, and some narrative elements, not necessarily presented in a linear manner. The culmination of this composite performance experience invites the audience to enter an imaginary world.
My movement vocabulary is rooted in West African and contemporary dance traditions which emanates from my dual heritage and the story of my personal migration. Indeed it is very important for me to acknowledge the fact that my first encounter with a movement culture was with the Manding tradition of dance (Mali, Guinea and Ivory Coast). I lived in Mali for two years, and travelled across the continent, studying and discovering additional forms of African dance from sabar to coupe decale, ndombolo and South African fusion. As a white "african dancer", race and color considerations have been present since the beginning of my choreographic journey. A contemporary sense of performance allowed me to expand and break the rules of my first dance practice. Beyond simply moving geographically, I migrated from one movement tradition to another.
As a committed traveler, my understanding and approach to performance has been deeply influenced by intercultural thinking. An important concept in my work is the French notion of “metissage,” similar to the English word miscegenation which refers to the union or blending of two races and/or cultures. I am fascinated by the transcendent space created when two or more heritages or disciplines, apparently not related to each other, cohabit in a single body. Through the exploration of metissage and questioning the audience’s assumptions and expectations, my work engenders alternative possibilities to normative culture."
Matthieu Nieto is the choreographer and artistic director of Mouvements Migrateurs. A native of Toulouse, France, he is currently based in Paris, where he is studying dance at Université Paris 8. Along his artistic path, Matthieu has been trained in both contemporary and African dance styles. He was accepted into several prestigious schools around the world including Donko Seko (Bamako), Rencontres Internationales de Danse Contemporaine (Paris), L'Ecole des Sables (Toubab Dialaw, Senegal) and Dance New Amsterdam (New York). During the 2013/2014 season, Matthieu was a company member for Movement of the People Dance Company in New York City. His choreographic work has been presented notably at the Detours Festival in Johannesburg, the Bushwick Open Studio Festival and Dance New Amsterdam in New York City, the Theatre School in Windhoek, Namibia and the Centro Convenciones de Puebla in Mexico and at the EANT Dance Festival in Kigali, Rwanda.