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Lahcen Zinoun – the liberated body
The BMCI Foundation is supporting the publication of a book entitled ‘Lahcen Zinoun ou le corps libéré’ (Lahcen Zinoun – the liberated body), which traces the extraordinary career of the Moroccan dancer, choreographer and film director.

Lahcen Zinoun entered the municipal conservatory of Casablanca at the age of ten and was awarded by the First Dance Prize in 1964. As Principal Dancer of the Royal Wallonia Ballet Company, Zinoun danced the best roles created by the most famous choreographers of that period: Peter Van Dyck, Georges Lefèvre, André Leclair, Hanna Voos, Jeanne Brabant, Jeannine Charrat, among others. After returning to Morocco in 1978, he founded his own company, Le Ballet-Théâtre Zinoun, and also a school of dance with his wife Michelle Barette.

Lahcen Zinoun then moved into cinema, as a choreographer for iconic films such as ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ directed by Martin Scorsese and ‘The Sheltering Sky’ by Bernardo Bertolucci but also as a director for both short and feature-length films.

Lahcen Zinoun

He is a key figure in the development and recognition of art and culture in Morocco.

In 2000, BMCI began providing support for the publication of art books which foster the preservation of Moroccan cultural heritage and in 2008 this initiative was taken over by the BMCI Foundation. In this spirit of showcasing Moroccan heritage and ensuring that this legacy is preserved in memory, the BMCI Foundation is this year backing the publication of ‘Lahcen Zinou ou le corps libéré’. This act of corporate philanthropy clearly demonstrates the joint commitment of the BMCI and BNP Paribas Foundations to contemporary dance and the performing arts in general.

The BNP Paribas Group undertakes corporate philanthropy work in most of the 75 countries where we have a permanent establishment, either through its various business lines or through dedicated Foundations, with grants totalling €40 million each year.Lahcen Zinoun

Photography credits:

  1. "Lahcen Zinoun ou le corps libéré" book cover, published by Maha Editions with the support of the BMCI Foundation (Book cover photo by Daoud Aoulad Syad)
  2. Isli et Tislit, choregraphy by Lahcen Zinoun, 1993
    Elena Kamenskikh in the role of Jocasta and Andrei Musorin in the role of Oedipus
    Excerpt from Lahcen Zinoun ou le corps libéré, Maha Editions P. 96
    (Photo DR Lahcen Zinoun)
  3. Lahcen Zinoun during the filming of La Femme Ecrite, 2012
    Excerpt from Lahcen Zinoun ou le corps libéré, Maha Editions P. 152
    (Photos Othmane Zine / for Lahcen Zinoun)