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Malek Sebai is a Tunisian dancer, choreographer and teacher who settled in Tunis after training at prestigious dance schools in France. Her work explores her career as a ballet dancer and the country that has shaped her identity. In 2021 she was appointed Artistic Director of the Tunis Opera Ballet.

Malek Sebai is the first Tunisian dancer to have enrolled at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris, after studying at the Opéra de Paris. In 1985, she completed her training at the Rosella Hightower Dance School in Cannes. Between 1985 and 1998 she worked in Moscow (Stanislavsky Theatre), New York (Elisa Monte Dance Company), Munich (Münchener Staatsoper), for the Aterballetto in Reggio Emilia, and for the Ballet du Nord in France. As well as the classical repertoire, she performed pieces by famous choreographers including Hans van Mannen, Angelin Preljocaj, Jiri Killyan, Ohad Naharin, John Cranko, Ulysses Dove and Elisa Monte.


She moved back to Tunisia in 1998. As a member of the DBM - Danse Bassin Méditerranée network, she supported the birth and development of a great family of choreographers in Tunisia and the Arab world. During this period she began working as a writer and choreographer, interrogating her own career as a ballet dancer and the country that has shaped her identity, Tunisia. Accompanied by her long-standing collaborators, the dancer, choreographer and actress Sondos Belhassen and the artist and photographer Patricia Triki, she developed her own approach to dance. In Tunis she has worked with the stage directors Taoufik Jebali and Fadhel Jaziri. She joined the association Hayyou’Raqs in 2014 and helped to set up training programmes.


She began to teach classical ballet and initiated a training project with the Goethe Institut in Tunisia and the Palucca Hochschule fur Tanz in Dresden. In 2017 she took to the stage again, in Radhouane El Meddeb’s piece Face à la mer pour que les larmes deviennent des éclats de rire that opened at the Avignon Festival.


In 2021, Malek Sebai was appointed Artistic Director of the Tunis Opera Ballet.


Édition 2021

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