Put your heart under your feet... and walk!

Steven Cohen

To Elu

German Premiere, presented in co-operation with euro-scene Leipzig
World premiere: 24 June 2017 at Centre Dramatique National as part of Montpellier Danse

Put your heart under your feet... and walk!

Put your heart under your feet... and walk!. Trailer © Anaïs Cossa

A poem about grieving the death of a loved one: South African choreographer and performer Steven Cohen creates a sacred site for his deceased partner Elu with whom he shared twenty years of his life. In a mourning ceremony of unbearable beauty, he faces his sorrows entirely alone.

Please note:
This performance contains representations on film of blood and dead animals.

Wearing shoes that have childrens’ coffins for heels and supported by rickety crutches, the performer advances with unsteady steps – restlessly wandering, searching for the most superior being. At times he wears ballet slippers, at others he can be seen in a video of a slaughterhouse scene, dancing among blood-covered cattle in a white tutu. He approaches the chasms between the worlds of the living and the dead in a rough and cathartic ritual.

Steven Cohen, at once a queer princess and a delicate moth, wanders through a world of emptiness in his solo “Put your heart under your feet… and walk!”. The South African choreographer and performer surrenders himself to his sorrow and his grief for a loved one. His survivor’s guilt is transformed into an incomparably extreme, ritualised cantata.

As performer, choreographer and visual artist, Steven Cohen has presented numerous works at events and institutions including Centre Pompidou in Paris, ImpulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival, Théâtre du Rond-Point in Paris, Montpellier Danse and Festival d’Avignon. His work brings to light that which lies on the margins of society, beginning with his own identity as a gay, Jewish, white, South African man. In his artistic practice, he creates montages and collages with the human body itself, transforming it into chimeras or hybrid-beings whose identity is uncertain, multiple and fluid. He orchestrates artistic interventions both on stages and in the public sphere, creating breaches in the day-to-day and in the spirit. The intention is not to trip people up but rather to break with preconceived certitudes and together face the indifference currently gaining ground within our societies.


Artistic Team

Steven Cohen – Choreography, scenography, costumes, interpretation
Yvan LabasseLighting
Richard Muller & SHU – Videos
Baptiste Evrard – Video management
Catherine CossaOutside eye
Samuel MateuStage management

On a red-lit stage are chandeliers and a table, and performer Steven Cohen in a fancy costume is projected onto a large screen.

Put your heart under your feet... and walk!

© Pierre Planchenault

Steven Cohen wears a tutu and stands on high shoes in the shape of coffins.

Put your heart under your feet... and walk!

© Pierre Planchenault

Steven Cohen is in the midst of stage fog.

Put your heart under your feet... and walk!

© Allan Thiebault

A production by Cie Steven Cohen in co-production with humain Trop humain – Centre Dramatique National (Montpellier) / Montpellier Danse / Dance Umbrella (Johannesburg)  with the support of DRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

The Steven Cohen Company is supported by DRAC Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Conseil Départemental de la Gironde.